Delegates from East of England energy industry outline priorities to minister at Westminster reception
A 200-strong delegation from the East of England energy industry will outline its critical role in the UK’s future energy security during a reception at Westminster tomorrow.
Industry representatives will put their case to energy minister Richard Harrington at the East of England Energy Group’s (EEEGR) reception, explaining the opportunities available and skills being developed along the region’s all-energy coast.
It comes after the government announced a £557m boost for renewable energy projects such as wind farms – to be made available for auctions for subsidies – as part of its clean growth strategy.
Simon Gray, EEEGR chief executive, said the region’s “special blend” of offshore wind, nuclear, and exploration and development of gas could be crucial to the country’s energy security post-Brexit.
“There is a general recognition in government that the amount of subsidies needed for offshore wind is dropping as it becomes more competitive. The level of incentive can be reduced substantially, but we need support for a little longer,” he said.
“In oil and gas we want to see support for gas as the main fuel for the next few decades while we transition to renewables, and not to get involved prematurely in decommissioning.
“It is all about timing in terms of decommissioning, so we can capitalise on the opportunities of harder-to-reach tight gas.
“Post-Brexit, energy generation is going to be a big issue – not relying on imports and having our own independent sources of production is going to be very important.”
Mr Harrington will meet and address delegates at the event in the Members’ Dining Room, which will also see talks from Jim Crawford, project development director for EDF Energy’s Sizewell, Eric Marston of the Oil and Gas Authority, and Fraser Weir of Centrica, who will give an update on EEEGR’s Southern North Sea (SNS) Rejuvenation Special Interest Group.
Guests will also hear details of the new £10m energy skills centre at East Coast College in Lowestoft, funded by the New Anglia LEP, from college principal Stuart Rimmer.
Jonathan Cole, managing director of Iberdrola Renewables Offshore, will share the progress of its East Anglia One offshore wind farm and plans for its proposed future zones.