The Daily Telegraph

‘Ev­ery house pow­ered by wind in 10 years’

- By Gor­don Rayner Po­lit­i­cal editor Renewable Energy · Wind Power · Clean Tech · Energy · Infectious Diseases · Environmental Economics · Business · Ecology · Industries · Health Conditions · United Kingdom · Boris Johnson · Government of the United Kingdom · Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario · Humber · Scotland · Saudi Arabia · Raleigh · Teesside

EV­ERY home in Bri­tain will be pow­ered by wind farms within a decade, Boris John­son is to pledge to­day.

The Prime Min­is­ter will prom­ise to make the UK the world leader in low­cost clean power gen­er­a­tion by har­ness­ing the “lim­it­less re­source” off­shore.

It will be part of a “green in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion” that he be­lieves could cre­ate mil­lions of jobs over the next 10 years, re­plac­ing many of those lost dur­ing the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

In his speech to the Con­ser­va­tive party con­fer­ence to­day he will say the Covid cri­sis can be a cat­a­lyst for change, pro­vid­ing an op­por­tu­nity to re­shape the econ­omy for Bri­tain’s fu­ture needs.

Mr John­son wants to show that his Gov­ern­ment is plan­ning be­yond coro­n­avirus as he tries to shake off the im­age of a Prime Min­is­ter trapped by events. He will say: “I can to­day an­nounce that the UK Gov­ern­ment has de­cided to be­come the world leader in low cost clean power gen­er­a­tion – cheaper than coal and gas – and we be­lieve that in 10 years’ time, off­shore wind will be pow­er­ing ev­ery home in the coun­try. You heard me right. Your ket­tle, your wash­ing ma­chine, your cooker, your heating, your plug-in elec­tric ve­hi­cle – the whole lot of them will get their juice cleanly and with­out guilt from the breezes that blow around these is­lands.”

Yes­ter­day Rishi Su­nak, the Chan­cel­lor, gave the strong­est hint to date that he will have to break the Tories’ triple tax lock elec­tion pledge to pay for the eco­nomic cost of Covid. In his speech to the con­fer­ence he said it may be “tricky”

to keep ev­ery man­i­festo prom­ise – which in­cluded no in­creases to in­come tax, VAT and Na­tional In­sur­ance – and there would have to be “hard choices” to bal­ance the books once the pan­demic was over.

Mr John­son will end the con­fer­ence on a more up­beat note with a vi­sion of Bri­tain grasp­ing the op­por­tu­nity af­forded by new tech­nolo­gies and postBrexit trade deals. He will say: “We need to give peo­ple the chance to train for the new jobs that are be­ing cre­ated ev­ery day – in new tech­nolo­gies and new ways of do­ing things.

“And there is one area where we are pro­gress­ing quite lit­er­ally with gale force speed and that is the green econ­omy – the green in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion that in the next 10 years will cre­ate hun­dreds of thou­sands, if not mil­lions, of jobs.

“Far out in the deep­est wa­ters we will har­vest the gusts, and, by up­grad­ing in­fras­truc­ture in places like Teesside and Hum­ber and Scot­land and Wales, we will in­crease an off­shore wind ca­pac­ity that is al­ready the big­gest in the world.

“As Saudi Ara­bia is to oil, the UK is to wind – a place of al­most lim­it­less re­source but, in the case of wind, with­out the car­bon emis­sions and with­out the dam­age to the en­vi­ron­ment.”

Mr John­son pre­vi­ously said that wind farms “couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pud­ding”.

He will poke fun at his pre­vi­ous scep­ti­cism in his speech, say­ing that “I re­mem­ber how some peo­ple used to sneer at wind power, 20 years ago”, though in fact he made his rice pud­ding com­ment seven years ago when he was ar­gu­ing for the ex­ploita­tion of shale gas. As well as qua­dru­pling the UK’S off­shore wind pro­duc­tion from the cur­rent 10 gi­gawatts to 40 gi­gawatts, Mr John­son will aim to build float­ing wind farms that can be an­chored much fur­ther out to sea than fixed ones.

In re­cent weeks Mr John­son has faced ac­cu­sa­tions that he has over­promised on pro­nounce­ments about “world beat­ing” ways of tack­ling coro­n­avirus, but his wind farms pol­icy has been in the pipe­line for much longer and rep­re­sents part of a 10-point plan for a green in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion.

The pol­icy will be backed by a £160 mil­lion in­vest­ment in ports and fac­to­ries to man­u­fac­ture the next gen­er­a­tion of tur­bines. By re­plac­ing fos­sil fu­els with re­new­able en­ergy, Mr John­son will also move to­wards the UK’S tar­get of net zero emis­sions by 2050.

He will say that peo­ple who dis­missed wind en­ergy in the past – him­self in­cluded – “for­got the his­tory of this coun­try. It was off­shore wind that puffed the sails of Drake and Raleigh and Nel­son, and pro­pelled this coun­try to com­mer­cial great­ness.”

‘It was wind that pulled the sails of Drake and Raleigh and Nel­son, and pro­pelled this coun­try to great­ness’

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