Peter Capaldi, actor, starred in The Thick of It and Doctor Who. He is a Greenpeace campaign supporter: Burbo Bank, near Liverpool, has the largest wind turbines in the world, capable of powering a household for over 24 hours with a single turn of their 80m blades. The biggest windfarm under construction today is Hornsea 1 of f Humberside, where a blade factory has created 1000 full-time jobs, and could create another 5000. When complete, Hornsea 1 will replace the London Array as the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The London Array itself replaced Walney wind farm off Cumbria at the top spot, and Walney Extension will return the crown to Cumbria in 2019. So offshore wind is big. But, unlike most big infrastructure projects, it’s also popular. A recent YouGov poll showed it is three times more popular than nuclear, and an astonishing twenty times more popular than gas. Those are the three technologies vying to dominate the UK’s energy future – offshore wind, gas and nuclear. Offshore wind is the cleanest of the three, the most popular by far, and the only one which doesn’t need imported fuel. It’s the pathway to plentiful low-carbon, safe and secure energy. But until very recently, there were doubts about the economics which could have blocked that path. But no longer. Earlier this month, we learnt that electricity from new offshore wind farms has halved in price in just two years. If it wasn’t for the similar, if slightly less precipitous drops in onshore wind and solar prices, it would be difficult to believe. So we now have a popular, plentiful, clean, low-carbon, safe, secure and relatively cheap energy source in which Britain is the world leader. This pathway leads not only towards a stable climate, but to economic regeneration in some of the areas of the UK which need it most. Our government, whose energy policies have been criticised from all angles for so long, engineered this breakthrough with strategic support. We could now choose a pathway where our children and grandchildren are guaranteed a safer future.
Times 28th Sept 2017 read more »