(ADPnews) - Oct 20, 2010 - The UK government will keep its GBP-60-million (USD 94.4m/EUR 68.5m) port upgrade fund that was established to aid the development of the country's wind power sector, David Howell, foreign office minister in the House of Lords, said at the European Future Energy Forum running this week in London.
The news comes just before the UK Treasury is to disclose a list of measures aiming to cut GBP 83 billion in spending to lower its deficit. According to a report by The Guardian, the government plans to spend GBP 1 billion on carbon capture and storage demonstration projects and to trim by 10% feed-in-tariffs for small-scale solar and wind installations.
The port funding was launched to attract companies such as German industrial conglomerate Siemens AG (ETR:SIE), Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S (CPH:VWS) and US General Electric (NYSE:GE) to construct wind turbine equipment facilities in Britain. Port facilities capable of handling large turbines are crucial to interest manufacturers in building production units in the UK, Maria McCaffery, CEO of British industry association RenewableUK, said in an interview for news agency Bloomberg last month. According to her, the UK's offshore wind power capacity exceeds the combined figure for the rest of the world.
The UK is relying heavily on offshore wind power to meet its target of providing 15% of its energy mix from green energy sources by 2020. In September, the country's total wind capacity -- onshore and offshore farms combined -- reached 5 GW, or enough to cover the needs of 2.7 million households.