The East coast of England is already the offshore wind energy capital of the UK, The new OrbisEnergy centre will be the main centre for potential investors, suppliers, large utilities, and small and medium businesses, which will make Lowestoft the renewable energy capital of Great Britain.
Perfectly situated at Ness Point in Lowestoft, the country’s most easterly point, OrbisEnergy is close to nearby airports of Norwich & Stanstead as well of the ports of Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Felixstowe, in a region that has a very talented and highly skilled workforce with many years of experience in all aspects of offshore engineering and energy.
From Government plans, of the 9GW of offshore wind energy projects currently being developed around the UK, 7GW are planned between the Thames Estuary and the Humber, of which Lowestoft is perfectly positioned at the centre of.
The East of England region is committed to producing 14% of electricity used from renewable energy by 2010. The draft East of England plan projects this region’s target for renewable energy at a staggering 44% by 2020. This is far beyond the national targets for renewable energy production. Of the 371MW of energy planned for the east of England from offshore wind projects by 2010, 288MW are already in place or approved.
In the near future it is estimated that a quarter of the UK’s electricity needs could be met through wave and tidal energy. Both these renewable energy sources are currently at their early stages of their development, although Lowestoft’s own Small & Co Limited was heavily involved in the engineering of wave and tidal technology.
The East of England region invests more funding into research and development of renewable energy than anywhere else in the UK and more too than most European regions. This means that this area of the UK can also offer comprehensive support services for the emerging marine renewable sector.
For three decades the East of England has supplied a versatile and respected workforce for the offshore gas and oil industries and Lowestoft has its own Offshore Renewables Centre of Vocational Excellence.
The East of England and now Lowestoft in particular leads the nation’s offshore renewable energy effort – with the new OrbisEnergy Centre at its heart.