Town's wind power potential in spotlight

LOWESTOFT'S growing position as a leading centre for the offshore wind energy industry was presented to an international audience at the prestigious 'All Energy' conference in Aberdeen.

LOWESTOFT'S growing position as a leading centre for the offshore wind energy industry was presented to an international audience at the prestigious 'All Energy' conference in Aberdeen.

In a speech entitled, 'The Challenges Facing Offshore Wind Development', Bob Blizzard, who, as chairman of the Lowestoft Energy Steering Group, was instrumental in bringing the industry to the town, told delegates from across Europe that, 'Britain is now leading the world in offshore wind energy and Lowestoft is the operational base for Greater Gabbard, the largest offshore wind farm in the world currently under construction.'

He said: 'The port of Lowestoft is ideally located close to some of the best areas for offshore wind. And we have transferrable skills from the offshore oil and gas industry and our maritime tradition. But we were chosen because we looked ahead and saw the opportunities. Having our OrbisEnergy centre ready when companies came looking for a base, showed we meant business.'

The former Waveney MP, who lost his seat to Tory Peter Aldous at the General Election on May 6, argued that the need for secure and sufficient energy supply, and the need to reduce CO2 to tackle the climate destabilisation crisis were the two most powerful factors we could have to drive forward offshore wind development, because, 'it delivers on both'.


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This was why the proposed new �15 billion East Anglia Array offshore wind farm was vitally important and could bring thousands of jobs to the area's economy.

Mr Blizzard was speaking last week at a conference session organised by the POWER cluster, an EU-funded initiative which links Lowestoft with the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway in developing renewable energy.

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Afterwards, he said, 'It was a great opportunity to showcase Lowestoft's potential. Although the vast scale of future offshore wind development presents logistical challenges in manufacturing so many turbines and in ensuring we have the necessary skills, the mood at the conference was really upbeat, which has got to be good for an industry that is set to be our future for many years to come.'

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