East well placed to lead on energy

MORE than 200 delegates attending the Southern North Sea conference in Norwich last week heard how the East of England was “perfectly placed” to lead the spirit of co-operation and collaboration needed within the energy industry.

MORE than 200 delegates attending the Southern North Sea conference in Norwich last week heard how the East of England was “perfectly placed” to lead the spirit of co-operation and collaboration needed within the energy industry.

Organised by the East of England Energy Group, the conference focused on the issue of different energy sectors working together to secure the world's future needs and tackle climate change.

“Keeping the lights on is not just about electricity but the whole energy industry,” said John Best, chief executive of the EEEGR.

“The region has the right geography and geology and you can't change that. We have all the assets but without the right people you get nowhere. And we've heard more than one delegate confirm that the East of England has a world class supply chain for the energy industry.”


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Speakers from Tullow Oil and E.ON Ruhrgas said they were committed to the development of existing gas fields, and the discovering of new gas sources, in the Southern North Sea basin.

Keith Bush from E.ON Ruhrgas said Great Yarmouth was key to the company's multi-million pound investment in the future because of its drilling and operations support business.

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Meanwhile, Maria McCaffery, chief executive of the renewables trade association BWEA, said she was on a mission to dispel any stand-off between the growing wind, wave and tidal power sectors and the fossil fuel industry.

She said the different sectors had much to learn from each other, and that the East of England was in a good position to benefit from future development.

The region could be targeted to produce seven gigawatts of a potential nine gigawatts of electricity that might be generated from offshore wind in the UK. With its ports and existing supply chain infrastructure, the east coast could be one of the major hubs of development to service and supply the projects.

“The UK is one of the windiest places on earth and we have it in great abundance off our shores,” she added. “We must maximise the harvesting of our own natural resources.”

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