RenewableUK has launched the UK Wind Energy Charter




6 April, 2012

Energy Secretary Ed Davey welcomes Charter and commitments of industry to jobs and investment

RenewableUK, the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries, has today launched the UK Wind Energy Charter. The Charter sets out three principles that the wind energy industry will apply in order to ensure that the UK maintains its position as a world leader and to secure the significant economic benefits that will help underpin the UK's prosperity.

The Charter has been backed by eleven founding signatory companies including RWE, GE and Vestas and is now open to the whole industry and its extended supply chain to support.

The three principles that form the basis of the Charter are as follows:

  • To invest in the future prosperity and energy security of the UK
  • To provide financial security for families by creating tens of thousands of long-term jobs
  • To provide clean, safe and affordable energy for the UK today and for future generations

Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change said:

"As an island, we have an abundance of free wind energy which we would be crazy not to harness. We have the opportunity to build a world leading wind energy industry; one that will help underpin the future prosperity of the UK by driving investment in the economy and jobs, reducing our dependency on imported resources, and by cutting carbon emissions. The Government recognises wind energy as a key part of the UK's energy mix and fully supports the RenewableUK Wind Energy Charter and the principles by which the industry will work to deliver these significant economic benefits".

Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive, RenewableUK, said:

"If we are to secure the UK wind energy industry's global leadership position and reap the significant economic benefits this will continue to deliver in terms of investment and jobs, we must work in partnership with the government and public. The Charter sets out the industry's vision for our role in this partnership and the principles that we will work to in order to ensure that wind energy is at the heart of a prosperous future for the UK."

The first principle of the Charter reinforces the wind industry's commitment to the future prosperity and energy security of the UK. Highlighting the investment already made by the wind industry in the UK, the Charter pledges to ensure that wind energy, which provided enough clean, secure electricity to power nearly five million homes in 2011, will invest to increase capacity to more than 17 million homes by 2020.

Highlighting the industry's sustained investment in the UK economy, the second principle of the Charter underlines the jobs already created and the development of specialist training courses pledging to grow these over the coming years to create an industry employing nearly 90,000 by 2020.

Ms McCaffery explains,

"The wind energy industry has already created nearly 12,000 jobs in the UK and is set to create up to 90,000 jobs by 2020. Likewise, the industry has pledged to create up to 2,000 places on specialist training courses by the end of 2013 to help people retrain and to create opportunities for the high number of unemployed young people in the country."

Alex Smale, UK Director, Mabey Bridge a founding signatory to the Charter and leading provider of wind turbine towers explains what the growth of the wind energy industry has meant for jobs in South Wales,

"Mabey Bridge's £38m diversification into the wind industry in early 2010 has so far brought 170 high skilled, manufacturing jobs to its South Wales factory. As just one of many examples of how British companies are expanding their skills and competencies to help keep the lights on, our investment means companies can now buy wind turbine towers that have been 'made in Britain'."

Finally, the third principle of the Charter outlines the commitment of the wind energy industry to providing clean, safe and affordable energy that will power the UK today and for future generations. The Charter pledges to continue to drive down costs which have more than halved over the last 20 years. Last year Ofgem statistics showed that the cost of wind energy to UK households was just two pence per day.

Julia Lynch Williams, Managing Director, RWE npower renewables a founding signatory to the Charter adds,

"Ultimately this charter underlines what we as an industry believe we can bring to the UK, particularly in terms of huge financial and economic investment and job creation. This is a growth industry which given the current economic climate will not only help provide a positive boost for jobs and investment but will also help ensure our energy security for current and future generations."

Ian Farquhar, Managing Director of Wind Energy at David Brown, a Clyde Blowers owned company and founding signatory of the Charter, comments:

"The current and future wind energy market opportunity is significant for UK industry. At David Brown, we have a clear growth strategy developed around expanding in key renewable sectors such as wind, hydro and tidal energy. We are developing new technologies that lower the cost of energy and are actively looking to maximise our UK supply chain partnerships to promote wind industry growth and excellence. The UK has a wealth of experience in developing innovative technologies for the aerospace, defence, automotive and oil and gas industries and transfer of this technology will enable us to cement the UK's position as a leading provider of affordable, renewable energy for the future."

-ENDS-

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Notes:

  1. The founding signatories of the UK Wind Energy Charter are Magued Eldaief, UK Managing Director of GE Energy; Ditlev Engel, CEO of Vestas; Andrew Whalley, CEO of REG Windpower; Ian Farquhar, Managing Director, David Brown Gears; Chris Hill, General Manager, Mainstream Renewable Power; Jessica Topham, Director, Consense; Dr Ian Mays, CEO, RES Group; Dale Vince, Founder, Ecotricity; Julia Lynch Williams, Managing Director, RWE npower renewables; Alex Smale, UK Director, Mabey Bridge; Stephen Ainger, Chief Executive, Partnerships for Renewables
  2. RenewableUK is the trade and professional body for the UK wind and marine renewables industries. Formed in 1978, and with more than 650 corporate members, RenewableUK is the leading renewable energy trade association in the UK. Wind has been the world's fastest growing renewable energy source for the last seven years, and this trend is expected to continue with falling costs of wind energy and the urgent international need to tackle CO2 emissions to prevent climate change.