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United Kingdom

We need to show what we offer - McNeal

UK: The offshore industry needs to move away from saying what is needed, and instead show what it can offer, RenewableUK CEO Hugh McNeal has said.

RenewableUK CEO Hugh McNeal:
RenewableUK CEO Hugh McNeal:

McNeal, RenewableUK's new CEO, made his first major address to the industry at the trade body's Global Offshore Wind event in Manchester (21-22 June).

The former UK energy department civil servant replaced Maria McCaffery in the role in April.

"Both in private and in public I have been stressing the need for us to move away from asks, from saying what we need, and to move instead to a different conversation with Government and with the public, showing and explaining clearly what we offer, what we offer Britain and what we will increasingly offer around the world," McNeal told delegates.

Echoing the sentiment by his former boss, energy minister Amber Rudd, McNeal said: "offshore wind is already a massive British success story".

"Whichever way you cut it, the figures are large, the delivery impressive. This is no start-up industry.

"Almost £1 in every £5 being spent on infrastructure in Britain is in renewables, with offshore wind leading the way. The over £20 billion [being invested] here is more than Britain is spending on flood defences, on airports, on our IT and broadband combined over the rest of the decade," said McNeal.

He also said the industry's future looked bright regardless of the result of the UK's referendum on European Union membership on 23 June.

"Our future success will not be achieved in isolation but in partnership with international companies who recognise British skills and strengths and complement them with their own, who recognise, as William Siemens did over 170 years ago, that Britain 'is the place if anything is to be done'," McNeal concluded.

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