British government announces "green energy" plan
The British government Thursday outlined an ambitious investment programme of 100 billion pounds (200 billion dollars) to boost the production of renewable energies in what Prime Minister Gordon Brown described as a "green revolution."
Brown said that 160,000 new jobs would be created by the plan, which envisages the construction of 7,000 new wind turbines, of which 3,000 will be offshore, the dpa reported.
Brown said the measures would put Britain at the forefront of the wind industry, "turning the North Sea into the equivalent for wind power to what the Gulf of Arabia is to the oil industry."
The aim was to increase the share of renewables in energy production to 15 per cent of consumption by 2020, in line with European Union (EU) targets.
"The North Sea has now passed its peak of oil and gas supply, but it will now embark on a new transformation into the global centre of the offshore wind industry," Brown said.
There would be "inevitable visible" changes to the landscape, but the government would make sure that turbines were placed in the "right locations," said Brown.
He said that "in the face of an oil shock bigger than that seen in the 1970s," a long-term strategy to reduce dependence on oil was needed as well as short-term measures to bring prices down.
Britain had to would from a dependence on fossil fuels to a greater reliance on renewable and nuclear power.
"It is the most drastic change in energy policy since the advent of nuclear power," Brown said about the strategy, presented at the start of a consultation period Thursday.
The investment of 100 billion pounds would be spread over 12 years.