Britain’s Energy Coast acting locally, thinking globally
Luke Dicicco outlines how Cumbria’s coastline is helping to power the nation and presenting great local opportunities along the way
The pressing issues of climate change and energy security present Britain with tough challenges but also huge economic opportunities. The ambitious Britain’s Energy Coast regeneration initiative has a simple goal with global and local issues at its heart. By establishing Furness and West Cumbria as a major generator of low carbon and renewable energy we can make a significant contribution towards Britain’s energy needs. Building a local economy based around energy has potential to unlock £100bn worth of investment, providing countless opportunities for businesses and vastly improving the economic and social prospects of local communities.
The Energy Coast initiative was a direct response to the decommissioning of the Sellafield site, and while nuclear new build at a site adjacent to Sellafield remains key to the plans, significant progress is being made in realising Cumbria’s massive renewable energy potential. The Scope for Renewable Energy in Cumbria by former Government energy adviser Sir Martin Holdgate (available to download at cumbriavision.co.uk), estimates Cumbria could meet a third of its energy needs from renewables by 2020, and by 2050 could have 5.5GW of installed capacity; meeting the needs of 300,000 people and supporting around 7,000 jobs. The majority of this energy and employment will be generated along Britain’s Energy Coast.
Britain already generates more energy from offshore wind than anywhere else in the EU. Cumbria’s shallow coastline, engineering prowess and proven ability to support the delivery of major schemes makes the region ripe for continued growth and investment. EON’s Robin Rigg offshore windfarm in the Solway Firth, is now fully operational with 60 turbines generating 180MW of energy. The nearby Port of Workington, which has seen millions of pounds worth of investment over the past few years, was key to its construction and will be important to its ongoing maintenance.
Further south off the coast of Barrow-in-Furness, Danish company Dong, in partnership with Scottish and Southern Energy, has begun erecting its £1.2bn, 102 turbine Walney Wind Farm. This will produce 1.5GW of energy and support scores of local jobs, not just during construction but also through servicing from a base in the town. Another mega scheme Morecambe Wind will see 150 turbines erected west of Duddon Sands by Scottish Power Renewables, Dong and Eurus Energy. More will appear after Centrica recently won the rights to develop offshore windfarms in the Crown Estates-owned areas of the Irish Sea. This is in addition to the many varying sized onshore windfarms across Cumbria. The focus for Energy Coast partners is lobbying Government and businesses to bring turbine manufacture here.
Major tidal schemes are also being progressed in Cumbria, unsurprising given the Solway Firth and Morecambe Bay are second and third respectively to the Severn Estuary for energy potential. The Solway Energy Gateway tidal project could produce up to 6GW and the Bridge Across the Bay 3GW, and at the same time provide economy boosting transport links with Scotland and Lancashire. A feasibility study is also underway for a potential tidal and transport project across the Duddon Estuary between Barrow and Millom.
The Energy Coast has also seen the emergence of other renewable technologies. A waste wood biomass power station will be built on Barrow Docks and energy from waste schemes will be developed over the coming years. Work is set to start on a new Anaerobic Digestion plant in Silloth over the coming months, with several other plants in the pipeline – unsurprising given Cumbria is home to more than 500,000 head of cattle and two million chickens.
Clusters of small but nationally important businesses in hydro, solar and geothermal energy generation have begun to emerge across Cumbria, holding the promise of more energy developments, business and employment opportunities as the respective markets grow.
Public sector partners behind Britain’s Energy Coast, led by regeneration organisations Britain’s Energy Coast West Cumbria and Barrow Regeneration, remain focused on ensuring Cumbria has the infrastructure – both physical and social – to support energy and associated developments. Now is the time to join us on this exciting journey.
To find out more about developments taking place in Barrow and West Cumbria visit: britainsenergycoast.comto top
Organisations are putting their premises at risk through sub-standard lightning protection services that could result in repair and insurance costs totaling thousands, a leading provider has warned
Darlington-based Stone Technical Services has become one of the UK leaders in the specialist field of lightning protection after securing a number of new contracts and thanks to being one of the most accredited in the specialist area
Clothing retailer French Connection is set to close 14 of its UK stores. Shops to close include high profile shopping…
Maidstone is the administrative and commercial centre of Kent. It is also the county town. Yet Maidstone’s excellent location and communications links, coupled to a readily available supply of quality office space mean that it’s true potential remains untapped
Commercial property rates hurt, says RICS
Minimal economic growth and lack of available funds in part attributable to the eurozone crisis saw 2011 end on a…
HM Government has announced it is to sell the long leasehold interest of the iconic Admiralty Archway. The Grade I…
Administrators have been appointed on behalf of Lloyds Banking Group and Irish National Management Agency to oversee the repossession and…
View sample issue
Deals & gossip
Featured news, deals and gossip from Estates Review's carefully curated Twitter list. Follow us @estatesreview.
Power to change or remove restrictive covenants 0 comment(s)
Surrender by operation of law 0 comment(s)
Know your rights 0 comment(s)
Continue occupation after an expired lease 0 comment(s)
Blast from the past 0 comment(s)
Coping with covenants 0 comment(s)
Contact Us 0 comment(s)
In Scotland: You could have it so much better 0 comment(s)
Are exclusivity clauses in leases sustainable? 0 comment(s)
About us 0 comment(s)