Picture Gallery: Norwegian prince and UK energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey at Holkham for official opening ceremony of �1bn wind farm

A Norwegian prince who was at the Holkham Estate yesterday to officially open a �1bn wind farm off the north Norfolk coast described the project as an example of how Britain is a world leader in wind energy.

Prince Haakon was a special guest at a ceremony to mark the completion of the 88-turbine Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm, located between 10 and 13 miles north of Sheringham.

He was joined by UK energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey, Norwegian ministers, chief executives of Statoil and Statkraft, the Norwegian energy companies which own the wind farm through the joint venture company Scira Offshore Energy, Scira general manager Einar Str�msv�g and local dignitaries including North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, North Norfolk District Council chief executive Sheila Oxtoby and Wells harbour master Robert Smith.

The prince arrived in a helicopter and was welcomed to Holkham by students from Alderman peel High School, in Wells. Musicians from the school, Maddie Yarham, Alice Eade and Archie Bonham, performed for him and the other guests.

Prince Haakon said: 'Norway and Britain have a long-standing relationship in several areas and Sheringham Shoal is an extension of this. It has involved two of Norway's largest companies and has created many jobs for people in Norfolk. It is a significant step forward in reaching the UK's ambitious renewable energy targets and is an example of how Britain is a world leader in moving forward wind energy.'

Critics of offshore wind farms point how the industry is heavily subsidised by the government in a time of economic crisis.

Mr Davey said: 'I don't see a distinction between renewable energy and economic growth; the two go together. We should seize these opportunities. Those people who think climate change is something for the good times only are very badly advised. Investing on offshore energy is the right thing for the government to do and I am very positive about the ability to cut costs down as this industry develops in the future.'

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