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Wind Farms Could Give Humberside Job Boost

27 Dec 2010 10:04 | Power market

Developers believe green energy can do for Humberside what oil and gas did for Aberdeen in the 1970s.

Fishing has always been one of the main industries on the banks of the Humber, but these days it's on a much smaller scale - there is now a new harvest to be reaped at sea.

The wind energy sector still only generates a small part of our energy needs but there are plans for huge new offshore wind farms, offering the potential for thousands of new jobs.

Ports and towns around the UK's coast are hoping to capitalise, and Humberside is among those leading the race with advanced plans for a 2,000-acre marine energy park.

It would be a hub for construction and maintenance of the thousands of turbines needed for the big schemes planned off the east coast of England.

Developer Neil Etherington told Sky News: "The sheer scale is mind blowing - we are talking about individual wind zones having over 2,000 turbines in the next six or seven years, that's 100 times the size of the world's biggest at the moment."

He added: "The Humber is best placed to be the central focus - just like Aberdeen has been for oil and gas."

Able UK hope their site will be making turbines by 2015. Initially, 5,000 people will be employed on site but that could rise to 27,000 in the supply chain and spin-off businesses.

At the Oasis Academy, one of the closest schools to the site, 14-year-old pupils will be ideally placed to take advantage when they leave school or college.

In a workshop youngsters battled with the challenge of creating their own model wind turbines.

Trainer Mike Cargill told Sky News: "What's important is that we get the attention of people early enough so that youngsters coming through are aware of the opportunities - it's not just engineering and scientific roles."

He added: "But also environmental, marine biology, maintenance, infrastructure, the whole supply chain will give a huge amount of opportunities across this whole region."

Wind energy has its critics, but the coalition Government is championing the sector as it tries to decarbonise the UK energy market.

 

Source:  orange

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