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United Kingdom

United Kingdom

UK minister hints at local content requirement

UK: The UK's junior energy minister, Michael Fallon, has made the clearest indication yet that the government will favour offshore projects sourcing components from within the country.

UK junior energy minister Michael Fallon
UK junior energy minister Michael Fallon

The UK currently does not have any local content quotas. However, Fallon said at RenewableUK's Global Offshore conference in Glasgow that projects boosting local jobs will have an edge.

He said: "The message is getting through about UK jobs and UK content, but that is only the start. Under the electricity market reform, we are also requiring developers to prepare supply-chain plans for approval of the secretary of state [for energy].

"They will need to demonstrate how their projects will contribute to growth of the UK supply chain and specifically how the projects will support the development of competition, how they will boost innovation and, critically, how they will boost skills and employment."

There was a possible threat in Fallon's comments at the conference in Glasgow, Scotland, come as the country prepares for an independence referendum to leave the UK.

Fallon highlighted the recent announcement that Siemens will build a turbine factory in Hull in the north of England as a positive move in this direction.

"This sends a clear message to other manufacturers wanting to win UK business that they need to create jobs here if they want to compete for contracts"

This echos the sentiment expressed by Siemens Wind head of UK business development Ray Thompson speaking to Windpower Monthly at the conference.

He said: "Clearly there's a lot of pressure from the UK government to ensure that some of the economic benefit from projects comes back to the UK, and that's what we're doing here."

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