29 March '10
9:47 AM UTC
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UK Set To Land Siemens Wind Turbine Plant

Siemens, the German industrial conglomerate, is reportedly looking to build a wind-turbine manufacturing plant in the United Kingdom. The £75 million ($112 million) facility could create 700 direct jobs.

This is the second such announcement in less than a week.  A few days ago General Electric, Siemens main competitor, said it would invest €340 million ($453 million) to develop and expand its wind turbine operations in the United Kingdom as well as Norway, Sweden and Germany.

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3 February '10
1:59 PM UTC
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Top Ten Players

January Top Ten Players in Green Energy: Nos 1-5

Green Energy Reporter’s ranking of the top ten players in green energy for the month of January is out! Taking the lead for the January ranking are British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband (#2 last month). These two are implementing bold green strategies whose impact will be felt well after they leave office, and based on recent polls, showing Conservative leader David Cameron well ahead of  Brown, that could happen soon.

Our latest ranking also includes promising companies prepping for possible IPOs as well as on investors putting their money, where so far only a few have….  One such investor is Microsoft founder and Chairman Bill Gates, who last month announced he was spending $4.5 million on various geoengineering projects. This is a risky proposition but not a  surprising one coming from someone who dropped out of Harvard to launch the startup that’s become Microsoft!

As we like to remind you, every time we publish out ranking, our top- ten list is based on the players’ influence over green energy policy and their ability to move the debate. Other factors that we take into account in making our monthly selection include industry and popular support for their positions, access to capital to fund innovation and the success of their ventures.

1: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown/Secretary of State for energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband, UK secretary of state for energy and climate change

From small-scale to ginormous-scale, British politicians rolled out complex plans in the last month to put the country on track to meet 15 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. First, they announced a £75 billion ($120 billion) offshore wind project – the so-called Round Three program administered by the independent Crown Estate – that will put thousands of turbines on the country’s seabed. Nine separate consortia won contracts to build the projects. The projects could support 70,000 jobs by 2020, according to Brown.

Then, just this week,  Ed Miliband announced new feed-in tariffs for small-scale and home producers of renewable energy. Homeowners could be paid hundreds of pounds from electricity they generate, even if they use it themselves, Miliband said.

Of course, there are enormous challenges, from lack of manufacturing plants that could actually build these offshore turbines to limited offshore connections to the national electricity grid. There’s also the simple matter of getting citizens to buy into green energy. But these projects show ambition that is distinctly lacking elsewhere in the world.

Image: PA

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8 January '10
9:33 AM UTC
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UK Launches £75B Offshore Wind Development [Update]

Who would have thought that the British offshore would supply so much of the UK’s energy needs. In the 70′s the country tapped the North Sea’s formidable oil and gas reserves, pressed by the squeeze brought on by the Middle East oil and gas embargo. That was then. Today, the Gordon Brown government launched a new, greener phase of the country’s offshore development, as it announced an ambitious £75 billion ($119 billion) project to build thousands of offshore wind turbines. The development is part of the country’s ambitious Round 3 of bids for leasing of portions of the British sea bed. Read More »

4 January '10
9:57 AM UTC
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Gordon Brown to Launch £100B Offshore Wind Development

The UK seeks to install 3,500 offhsore turbines over the next decade

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to kick start this week an ambitious £100 billion ($162 billion) development of the British seabed to install massive offshore wind farms.

The wind farms could, at least on paper, provide power to most of Britain’s households. Read More »

12 May '09
4:32 PM UTC
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Massive 1,000 MW London Array offshore wind project back on track

, and have agreed and develop the massive, 1,000 megawatts offshore wind farm, ending months of uncertainty over whether the facility would even get done after Royal Dutch Shell pulled out of the project last year.

that the consortium plans to invest $2.2 billion euros ($3 billion) to support the construction of the project’s first phase.

According to Frank Mastiaux, Chief Executive of E.ON Climate and Renewables, the future of London Array seemed uncertain because of the poor market conditions and lack of credit but the investor group opted to go ahead and develop the farm after the British government said it would raise support for offshore wind developments in its 2009 budget.

“The London Array is a flagship project in our drive to cut emissions by 80% by 2050 and meet future energy needs,” said UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in a statement following the announcement from E.ON.

To cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 the UK is planning to construct between 30-35 gigawatts of wind power, including 20 gigawatts of offshore wind.

In the U.S., a recent report by the Interior Department claims that if fully developed the offshore U.S. East Coast could produce enough wind power to replace most of the country’s coal-fired power plants, which currently produce more than half of the country’s electricity.

Denmark’s Dong Energy holds 50% in the London Array project, E.ON UK 30% and Abu Dhabi’s state-owned green energy firm Masdar, controls the balance.

London Array is to be built on the River Thames estuary, around 12 miles (20 kilometers) off the coasts of Kent. It could start produce power in 2012.

Other offshore UK wind project includes the 315-megawatt Sheringham Shoal facility, jointly developed by StatoilHydro and Statkraft.