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FEATURE SPONSOR


MONEY MATTERS


OFFSHORE WIND FARMS OFFER MASSIVE ECONOMIC BENEFITS, NOT JUST ENVIRONMENTAL ONES


Nick Heale and Scott Carpenter, company directors of H&Askham Group, one of Britain’s leading wind farm supply chain companies, argue that the government should not underestimate the much-overlooked economic advantages of the wind farm industry. They want the government to firmly pledge its support to wind energy because they believe it could help revive the British economy, re-establishing British engineering prowess across the globe.


A POSITIVE EXAMPLE


Nick and Scott cite their own Kent- based high voltage electrical company, H&Askham, as an example of the sector’s promising economic potential.


During the economic downturn in 2008, their small high voltage electrical installation company was struggling along with so many other British businesses. H&Askham only managed to buck the recession trend when Nick and Scott chose to expand into offshore wind power, a sector they predicted would expand rapidly due to carbon emission reduction targets and widespread interest in green energy production.


COMPANY GROWTH


Since H&Askham’s first offshore wind power project, the then small company has grown exponentially, repositioning itself on the market as a large UK-based wind power supply chain company, with an ever-increasing band of employees and ever-increasing demand.


LONDON ARRAY


The company now boasts a range of major wind power projects including


London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm located in the Thames Estuary – 175 turbines that produce enough power to supply over 470,000 UK homes with electricity.


Whereas in Europe, governments have been investing heavily in launching offshore wind power as an energy alternative, Nick and Scott strongly believe that Britain is lagging behind. Delivering mixed messages, the British government has expressed no firm commitment and taken little action in comparison to Europe in supporting wind energy and there is much uncertainty surrounding the likelihood of the fruition of the Round Three projects.


GOVERNMENT SCRUTINY Nick Heale says, “Wind farms have recently been under government scrutiny because of their cost and alleged inability to deliver the energy targets required for 2020. But we at H&Askham believe that with better project management and more support from the government, costs should decrease significantly and large projects should be delivered more efficiently, thus enabling the 2020 targets to be met.”


Nick added that, “With more activity on the Continent in offshore wind energy production, many European companies have been calling on H&Askham because of their affirmed knowledge and experience of the UK wind power market. This is clear indication that the UK must act soon if it wants to continue to be the big player in the offshore wind industry. The government should express its commitment and act upon it, so that outside investors can have the confidence to support upcoming UK projects. It is an opportunity not to be missed.”


INVESTMENT


While the UK has a great Engineering heritage, the company believe that the British government simply hasn’t made enough of the offshore wind market by investing in British wind power resources and facilities. With the recent economic crisis and high unemployment levels in Britain, wind power is an industry sector ready and waiting to boost the fledgling British economy, providing jobs for hands-on labour, skilled technicians, project managers, engineers and technicians for the operation and maintenance of wind farms.


EUROPEAN WIND ENERGY ASSOCIATION REPORT, 2011 “The offshore industry is forecast to see a steep rise in employment numbers over the course of the next decade. It is estimated that the wind energy sector will employ 462,000 people in 2020. Of these 169,500, almost 40% will be in offshore. By 2030, jobs in offshore are expected to count for 62% of total in the wind energy sector: around 300,000 jobs out of a total of 480,000.”


COMMITMENT


If the British government really wants to demonstrate its commitment to the growth of British industry, then Nick and Scott at H&Askham believe that the government should back the wind energy sector, which holds the potential to create many more engineering and manufacturing jobs for British industry whilst reducing carbon dioxide emissions.


London Array


The H&Askham Group www.HandAjointing.co.uk


www.windenergynetwork.co.uk 53 Nick Heale


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