'Big con trick' claim blown out of the water by Renewable UK at OWC2018

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 26 Apr 2018

Renewable UK’s deputy chief executive blew a national newspaper’s claims about offshore wind being a ‘big con’ out of the water as he addressed Offshore Wind Connections 2018.

He took to the stage in Hull today, after the Daily Mail published a double page spread comment piece from James Delingpole on it not being the answer to low carbon energy production, couched in Nazi and foreign-owned terminology.

Read more: Triton Knoll's port plans are firming up

Wavering between onshore and offshore, it appeared to be prompted by the release of the latest and largest turbines from General Electric.

But it got short shrift on the Humber, where the halving of subsidy costs and undercutting of nuclear and matching of gas as been heralded, as work to manage storage and reduce variability goes on - never claiming to be the absolute solution.

Read more: 'Two Jags' drives forward 'Two Banks' message from the Humber

Maf Smith, who was delighted to be back on his old stomping ground, said: “It is some con trick that can sustain a reality, power the nation and manage it all without anyone noticing.”

He focused on the breeze of immense positivity blowing in from the North Sea zones.

Read more: Chief's emptying bucket list is a sign of offshore wind's potential becoming reality

Mr Smith, from Barton, said: “I remember being in Scunthorpe when Siemens deal was announced (at OWC 2014, Forest Pines Hotel), thinking it was one of the best days of our lives.

“To see where it has come from, what it feels like, and to see the achievement around the Humber is fantastic.

“We need to use and thrive on examples we see, from the very large investments to some of the rising stars of the supply chain, growing here, locating here, winning work in the Humber and globally. It is so important we can demonstrate that success.

Read more: First substation now 'in situ' on world's biggest wind farm

“We are of a scale now that gets us noticed in terms of jobs being delivered. People understand the industry, can have conversations and it is a real thing. It is not something happening somewhere else. Early worries about ‘will there be jobs, what’s the benefit’, well we are seeing that, it is clear.”

“We see this growth, this reality achieved in such a short period of time, and we should be proud of what we have done and looking at how that rapid trajectory which served us well, and how we press on to achieve more.

“We have had 76 hours without coal for the first time in over 100 years. We are regularly seeing records broken in low carbon intensity of power and shifts in our electrical system.”

Read more: £12m Aura Innovation Centre at Bridgehead business park by Humber Bridge gets go-ahead

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