GMB: Kwasi Kwarteng cancels his GMB interview
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Even though Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that he will resign after swathes of ministers and MPs stepped down, Mr Kwarteng has stressed that the “wheels of the Government must continue in the meantime”. It came as he unveiled the huge investment into the Teeside project, whcih will reportedly employ “hundreds of local people”.
Wind power is a lower carbon alternative to gas that can help to play a role in weaning Britain off the fossil fuel, which keeps skyrocketing in price due to supply cuts from Russia.
As the UK grapples with soaring bills as a result, the Government pledged as part of its energy strategy to develop more than enough wind capacity to power every home in the country by 2030.
To help reach this target, the UK is now plotting a huge expansion, despite already being the world leader in offshore wind.
And Mr Kwarteng has seized on this opportunity to step into the limelight and take the credit for the latest announcement while his party leader crumbles.
He tweeted: “I’m on Teesside today launching a £400million investment – a new offshore wind factory that will employ hundreds of local people.
“Westminster is a mess, but this investment – and those jobs – will outlast any PM. The wheels of Government must continue in the meantime.”
The £400million wind facility will be built at Teesworks – the UK’s biggest industrial zone and is also set to be the country’s largest freeport once up and running.
Here, a 1.13million sq ft factory will construct the offshore wind turbines, a process which will reportedly provide up to 1,500 supply chain jobs and 750 direct jobs when fully operational.
South Korean company SeAH owns the site.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “SeAH is committed to backing our brilliant supply chain businesses, helping them to go from strength to strength too.
“Hundreds have already heard about they can work with SeAH and this year’s Tees Valley Business Summit will be another chance for the South Korean firm to drive home its support for local, home-grown firms and expertise.
The wind farm announcement comes just a day after the Business Secretary announced a landmark Energy Security Bill – a significant piece of energy legislation with 26 measures.
The measures include deploying low carbon, renewable technologies like carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen, as well as other measures to help shield households from soaring bills.
The aim is to drive £100billion of private sector investment by 2030 into new British industries for the “transition to a cleaner, affordable, homegrown energy system”.
Mr Kwarteng said: “To ensure we are no longer held hostage by rogue states and volatile markets, we must accelerate plans to build a truly clean, affordable, home-grown energy system in Britain.
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“This is the biggest reform of our energy system in a decade.
“We’re going to slash red tape, get investment into the UK, and grab as much global market share as possible in new technologies to make this plan a reality.
“The measures in the Energy Security Bill will allow us to stand on our own two feet again, re-industrialise our economy and protect the British people from eye-watering fossil fuel prices into the future.”
This also comes after plans for another huge wind project were unveiled earlier this week.
The proposed plan was put forward for floating windfarms to be built off the coasts of Cornwall and Pembrokeshire.
It came after the Queen’s property manager pinpointed a number of sites in the Celtic Sea.
Up to five areas were put forward in the proposal, which the crown estate (which generates money for the Treasury and the royal family) hopes can power 4 million homes by 2035.
Huub den Rooijen, the crown estate’s managing director, said: “The Celtic Sea has the potential to become one of the great renewable energy basins of the world, bringing economic growth and abundant clean power.”
Energy minister Greg Hands said: “We already have the largest offshore wind deployment in Europe. Floating technology is key to unlocking the full potential of our coastline.”
Offshore wind farms are normally built on the seabed near to the shore.
But the plans for the Celtic Sea would involve building floating concrete and steel platforms that the turbines would be built on.
The purpose of this is to limit opposition from local residents and businesses who complain about noise and aesthetics, as the steel platforms allow the turbines to be placed further out at sea.
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