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New energy secretary emphasises green growth on visit to BRE

Energy secretary Ed Davey today visits BRE’s innovation park in Watford in his first official appointment since replacing Chris Huhne on Friday.

Mr Davey will join deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg who will insist that low carbon markets are the next frontier in the battle for global pre-eminence.

Following a weekend in which MPs demanded cuts to wind power subsidies in a letter to the Prime Minister published in The Sunday Telegraph, the new energy secretary will state there will be ‘no change in direction’ following Mr Huhne’s resignation on Friday.

Mr Davey and Mr Clegg will meet graduates considering moving into green construction jobs on the first day of National Apprenticeship Week and the energy secretary will also announce that 155 community energy projects have won a share of £5.1 million of funding from the Local Energy Assessment Fund.

Meanwhile a meeting of the Offshore Wind Developers’ Forum, co-chaired by DECC Minister Charles Hendry, will today re-emphasise its vision that UK firms should provide more than 50 per cent of the content of future windfarms.

In December Siemens announced they are moving forward with a turbine manufacturing plant in Hull while last month the Port of Sheerness submitted a planning application for the development of the manufacturing facility proposed by Vestas.

Mr Clegg will say: “The race is on to lead the world in clean, green energy. Last year we saw record-breaking global investment in renewables - outstripping the cash piled into fossil fuels. The new economic powerhouses - China, India, Korea, Brazil - are now serious contenders for that capital.

“So the choice for the UK is simple: wake up, or end up playing catch up. In today’s world the savviest states understand that going for growth means going green. Low-carbon markets are the next frontier in the battle for global pre-eminence. I want the UK to be the number one destination for green investment. We’re in this race to win it.”

Mr Davey will add: “My priorities are very simple: green jobs, green growth and getting the best deal for energy bill payers. My department is already implementing bold and ambitious reforms - like electricity market reform and the Green Deal - to unlock private investment, drive innovation and build a resilient, green, competitive economy. It’s now my job to see those through.”

Meanwhile the Energy Innovation Centre has revealed that £29.2m of funding is to be made available for for innovators and companies looking to bring ‘new ideas for tomorrow’s energy industry’ to market.

The funding can be accessed via the Energy Innovation Centre and investments will be selected by five of the UK’s leading electricity distribution companies Electricity North West, Northern Power Grid, ScottishPower Energy Networks, Scottish and Southern Energy and UK Power Networks.

The funding available originates from Ofgem’s Innovation Funding Incentive scheme and the £500m Low Carbon Networks fund established by Ofgem as part of the electricity distribution price control arrangements that run from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2015.

Energy Innovation Centre director Denise Massey said: “This is another huge step forward for innovators and businesses that need to accelerate their ideas to market. As part of this initiative we will continue to deliver a range of support services, including opportunities to test technologies on high and low voltage power networks and establish relationships with potential customers.

“This is an opportunity for the UK to further develop the way energy is distributed whether this is a new or early stage idea or an existing technology from another industry which will improve the energy supply process. We are looking for products that will help manage demand, and encourage more efficient use of energy in the home and workplace

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