French industrial conglomerate AREVA has confirmed plans to develop a wind turbine manufacturing site in East Scotland.
During the visit of Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond to Paris, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the company and Scottish Enterprise to establish a manufacturing centre to produce 5 MW turbines and blades for the UK market.
The development will complete AREVA’s market coverage in Europe, which include industrial hubs in Bremerhaven, Germany and Le Havre, France.
The facility, which could create up to 750 direct jobs, is being sited in Scotland to optimise logistics and costs for UK projects, as well as capitalising on a growing offshore wind technology cluster around the Firth of Forth.
Samsung, Gamesa and Mitsubishi are also establishing operations in the area, as well other supply chain companies.
AREVA is joining them in its bid to become one of Europe’s leading offshore wind suppliers, with the expectation to exceed installations of 40,000 MW by 2030.
“This demonstrates the group’s commitment to contribute to the development of an ambitious offshore wind industry in the UK,” says CEO Luc Oursel. “The Scottish site will complete our industrial plan to supply European offshore wind projects and will strongly position us to grasp opportunities in the extensive UK market.”
The announcement has been welcomed by wind industry trade association RenewableUK, which says the commitment is “tangible proof” of the growing importance of renewables to the UK’s industrial base.
“Britain’s offshore wind industry is on the threshold of delivering thousands of manufacturing jobs at a time when the country needs them most,” says chief executive Maria McCaffery. “It’s now time for the UK Government to nail its colours to the mast and make sure these planned investments come to fruition.”
But in a veiled reference to the ongoing media furore over Energy Minister John Hayes apparent opposition to wind power, McCaffery adds that “political spats over energy policy” must be ignored in preference to a focus on clean energy as a source of jobs and investment.
Wind power could meet 25% of global electricity demand by 2030 (15-Nov)
UK’s industrial strategy should play to strength in green tech, says CBI (8-Nov)
Vestas scraps plans for UK wind turbine plant in Kent (25-Jun)
Full steam ahead for Siemens and ABP’s ‘green’ port at Hull (11-May)
Article source: http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/i/5554/