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Offshore Wind

Volume 605: debated on Thursday 11 February 2016

My hon. Friend will be aware that I announced last November that, in addition to the 10 GW I expect to be installed by 2020, the UK could support up to 10 GW of new offshore wind in the 2020s, subject to costs coming down. The next contract for difference round will take place by the end of this year, and I will set out further information in due course so that potential bidders can start planning their bids.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. Offshore wind is an important part of renewable energy policy but so, for that matter, is marine energy. What progress have the Government made on the marine energy park to be situated down in the south-west?

I am aware of the good work that my hon. Friend has done this year and the progress he has made, and that Plymouth’s world-leading expertise is at the heart of the south-west marine energy park. Last year, I was delighted to host, with him, a conference in Plymouth to take forward marine energy planning. I can reassure him that we will continue to work with him to ensure that Plymouth stands at the front of any marine energy park.

The development of Hornsea Project One by DONG Energy will be funded by UK taxpayers and UK energy bill payers. How will the Government use their new procurement guidelines to ensure that UK content, such as UK steel, is used in that development?

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to raise this matter. May I reassure him that we are having regular meetings with DONG and with the MPs involved to ensure that the UK content is as high as possible, within the procurement rules?