The UK Government has pledged £230m (€272m) in fresh funding for offshore wind in its Autumn Budget.
Industry sources said the funding would go towards offshore wind manufacturing, comprising £220m of new funding and the remaining unspent £10m from the UK Government’s Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support Scheme.
The finance forms part of its £1.4bn Global Britain Investment Fund, which aims to attract foreign investment into the country.
In the budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak also confirmed the £160m investment in offshore wind power hubs.
The UK Government hopes these will create and safeguard at least 2,500 jobs in Teesside, Humberside and the North-East, ultimately enabling the sector to support up to 60,000 jobs by 2030.
A new 30-megawatt generator installed at Tata Steel’s Port Talbot site in South Wales will reduce its energy bill by millions of pounds every year at a time when energy prices are rocketing, the Indian steel major announced on Monday.
The generator has been installed in a new turbine hall, as part of a wider 37 million pounds investment at the site’s power station.
Tata Steel said the huge generator also includes environmental benefits as more process gases from the blast furnaces, steelmaking plant and coke ovens can be converted into “useful energy” – reducing emissions from external power generation by more than 40,000 tonnes of carbon-dioxide (CO2) a year.
“Our on-site power plant uses process gases to heat water into steam, which then drives a turbine – like a propellor. This, in turn, drives an electrical rotor to generate our own electricity,” said Guy Simms, Tata Steel’s Project Manager.
CSR: Low Carbon manufacturing boosted with Green Bank
The £1bn capital funding pledged through the Green Investment Bank will benefit firms in the West Midlands working in the sustainable energy and low carbon sectors.
Mr Osborne announced that the annual budget for the Department of Energy and Climate Change would be £3.1bn. This represents a 5% annual budget cut but £200m is pledged for wind power development.
Funding is being set aside for infrastructure development to meet the needs of offshore wind turbine manufacturers looking to locate new facilities in the UK.
In the West Midlands this could provide a major boost to an industry that employs 8,400 people.
The Green Investment Bank is also likely to boost investment in major low carbon infrastructure products, such as low emission and electric vehicles and renewable energy.