|Photo credit: Siemens.|
By Anders Lorenzen
On Tuesday the German company Siemens pledged its belief of the growth prospect in the UK’s offshore wind market by confirming it would build wind turbine factories in the city of Hull in East Yorkshire on the east coast of England.
The development, labelled Green Port Hull, will be operational by 2016 with full capacity reached by 2017 and will provide 1,000 new jobs, cementing it a massive boost for the UK green economy.
The offshore production facilities in which Siemens are investing more than £160 million, will be producing the rotor blades for the German giants’ new six megawatts (MW) offshore wind turbine. The Associated British Ports (ABP) are also investing in the project by providing capital of £150 million, making the total of the investment in the project £310 million.
The news will be seen as a welcome boost for supporters of the green economy. It has been argued for long that to ensure continued growth in the UK’s offshore wind market, which is the largest in the world factories for producing wind turbines will need to be built in the UK.
Campaigners argued that the failure by the government to set a 2030 decarbonisation target would mean that companies like Siemens and Vestas lacked investor confidence to fully invest in the UK, but Tuesday’s developments confirmed that the government had done enough to convince Siemens of its green growth ambitions. Michael Suess, member of the managing board of Siemens AG and CEO of the Energy Sector, said: ”Our decision to construct a production facility for offshore wind turbines in England is part of our global strategy: we invest in markets with reliable conditions that can ensure that factories can work to capacity. The British energy policy creates a favourable framework for the expansion of offshore wind energy.”
The 6 MW wind turbine prototype provides a new scale of dimensions for wind turbines with wingspans as large as the Airbus A380, and when in rotation it will cover the space of two football pitches. It will also provide electricity for up to 6,000 households, a landmark for wind turbines.
The UK’s Energy Secretary, Edward Davey, was delighted with the announcement, stating: ”This deal is excellent news for the people of Hull and the Humber, the UK, the wind industry, and our energy security. As well as helping to keep the lights on and putting more than 1,000 people in work, this deal means we will help to keep consumer bills down as we invest in home-grown green energy and reduce our reliance on foreign imports.”
Siemens delivered all 175 wind turbines for the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the London Array, which was completed last year.