Energy policy “will impact on SW”

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Manufacturers’ organisation EEF has called on the Government to show strong leadership in safeguarding future energy supply by balancing renewable opportunities with greater investment in nuclear capacity.

Commenting on the Government’s first annual energy statement, Clive Turner, head of external affairs for EEF in the south west, says that the decisions taken over the next few years could profoundly impact on the region’s position as a leader in renewable energy programmes.

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Turner said: “The south west leads on a number of offshore renewable energy programmes and needs clear Government leadership on how renewables fit in the future energy supply mix, otherwise we run the risk of losing the impetus gained so far, which could damage the opportunity to create a world class industry.”

He added: “Even though South West RDA will cease to exist by April 2012, the work of RegenSW, the body set up by the RDA to help businesses get involved in renewables, must continue. This will undoubtedly be one of the early challenges for the new Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), wherever they ultimately exist, to work together and ensure that this happens.”

EEF, which has published its own “Energy Action Plan”, believes that with decisive action there is still time to put in place a policy framework which will attract the estimated £200 billion worth of investment needed to secure the future energy supply.