Cable launches hunt for renewables centre

Business secretary Vince Cable has launched a competition to develop an innovation centre focusing on technologies for offshore wind, wave and tidal power.

Speaking at an event in Liverpool following a visit to Ineos' chemical plant in Runcorn, he said the move was the next step to "transform the UK" into a low carbon economy.

The competition is being run by the government-backed Technology Strategy Board (TSB). Companies involved in offshore renewables are being urged to deliver proposals to the TSB detailing how a potential centre would operate.

The government hopes to create a network of at least six technology and innovation centres over the next four years. The centres will allow businesses to access equipment and expertise to help them commercialise new and emerging technology.

Cable said: "The UK is a world leader in offshore engineering and our reputation makes us an excellent location for research in this area.

"In creating an Offshore Renewable Energy technology and innovation centre we are taking the next step to transforming the UK into a low carbon economy.

"There is a clear opportunity for the government to support the UK’s offshore industry and this centre will be of great benefit to the sector and the economy."

It is thought that expressions of interest will be sought this summer, with a decision on the remit and structure of the new centre to be made towards the end of the year. The government hopes to have the offshore wind, wave and tidal power centre up and running in a year's time.

Cable also revealed that £20m would be invested into two clean technology funds – Zouk Cleantech 2 and HG Capital Renewable Power Partners 2, as part of the £325m UK Innovation Investment Fund (UKIIF).

According to the Carbon Trust, the global offshore wind market will grow by 10 per cent a year over the next 40 years and be worth up to £170bn per year by 2050.

Details of the first technology and innovation centre, which will specialise in high-value manufacturing, were announced earlier this year.

For further details please contact the Technology Strategy Board here

(Information from the Business Insider)