Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Warning That Wind Jobs Could Blow by; High Stakes in Race to Build New Turbines

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Warning That Wind Jobs Could Blow by; High Stakes in Race to Build New Turbines

Article excerpt

Byline: Adrian Pearson

MINISTERS have been told they must make it easier for energy jobs to come to Tyneside or risk watching millions of pounds in green investment go to Europe.

The region should have generations of heavy industry know-how on its side as the world's leading energy companies look to build thousands of offshore turbines 100 miles east of Newcastle. But the Government has as yet failed to persuade the world's biggest manufacturers to follow Clipper Windpower's example and build on the banks of the Tyne. The jobs risk comes despite companies such as GE Energy, Siemens and Mitsubishi all visiting Tyneside to look at the potential for a new factory, The Journal can reveal.

When the world's biggest windfarm - the London Array off Kent - was given approval last year the majority of the jobs for the turbines went to Germany.

Now it is feared that unless both city leaders and Government bosses offer even more incentives, Prime Minister Gordon Brown's green revolution will have no jobs impact.

One of the few so far set to benefit is Clipper Windpower, which has already had its prototype of the world's largest wind turbine purchased by the Crown Estate.

The energy company expects to be producing turbines in then North East within a few years.

Managing director David Still said: "The key thing now is to attract that investment.

We must do everything we can to get that.

"The sites need to be available, the workforce has to be there and the infrastructure has to be in place.

"We have to make sure other companies are being told that here there is a lot already in place. We can see the potential here, we believe manufacturing can happen in this country and that it does not have to happen in Germany or China.

"And we think there is a supply chain here that can work with us. …

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