· News

Renewable energy projects to create 8,500 jobs

The Government has unveiled eight green energy projects that is predicted to create 8,500 jobs by 2020.

The Contracts for Difference project was approved in parliament yesterday, and the contracts will be available from this autumn. The Government hopes to attract £12 billion of private sector investment with the scheme.

There are five off-shore wind sites among the projects. The news is particularly welcome in the north-east, as three of the successful projects are located in Cumbria, Middlesbrough and Northumberland. A further two are based around the coast of Yorkshire. 

The renewable energy sector has doubled in size since 2010, with 17.6% of UK electricity now produced by 'green' energy sites. Energy and climate change secretary Edward Davey said the contracts would add competition to the renewable energy sector as well as providing skilled jobs to all areas of the UK. 

“By themselves they will bring green jobs and growth across the UK, but they are a significant part of our efforts to give Britain cleaner and more secure energy," he said. 

The eight successful sites come from a list of 57 that were proposed in December 2013. Davey said that as there were so many applications, if any of the eight projects could not go ahead then something similar would be chosen in its place. 

It is more good news for infrastructure and industry after the David Cameron and George Osborne announced plans to create 150,000 construction jobs yesterday.