David Prosser: The wind will blow and we shall have jobs

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The Independent Online

Outlook Lord make me chaste – but not yet. The Committee on Climate Change's report on Monday had an Augustine ring to it, suggesting that while offshore wind has a big role to play eventually in helping Britain meet its renewable energy commitments, the cost of the technology means relying on it for the 2020 round of targets might not be such a good idea.

Remember, however, that costs do not stack up in a vacuum. Along came Vestas yesterday with an announcement that it has bought exclusive rights to develop a big block of land in Kent. The world's biggest turbine manufacturer is thinking of building a production facility to service demand in the North Sea, an initiative that would create 2,000 jobs.

Sadly, Vestas is not sure whether to proceed. It wants reassurance that the UK's energy policy will be conducive to its business over the long term. In that sense, Monday's report, Vestas says, could not have been worse timed.

It's a useful reminder that while the shift to renewable energy will create new liabilities, it also represents a huge opportunity for Britain's economy.

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