The Daily Telegraph
‘Every house powered by wind in 10 years’
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’