New energy investments seek to create thousands of jobs

Hundreds of thousands of jobs are to be supported by up to 110 billion of private sector investment in electricity, the Government has said.

The money, unveiled by ministers as part of new reforms, will also help to keep bills down and produce cleaner energy, it is hoped.

Draft investment contracts have already been sent to 16 renewable projects, with nine being told they are provisionally affordable.

Contracts are set to be awarded next spring, with projects including onshore and offshore wind, as well as biomass conversion. It is hoped these green ventures will help support as many as 250,000 jobs nationwide.

Drax Power, Dong Energy Wind Power and Dudgeon Offshore Wind are just a few of the companies to have submitted applications so far.

The overriding aim of the reforms is to confirm the UK's position as one of the most attractive countries in the world to invest in energy generation.

Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, believes the changes will have a positive impact on the whole of the country.

"We have driven the Energy Bill through Parliament on time to send out a clear signal to investors and industry," he said.

"We have delivered the certainty they need and confirmed Britain's position as one of the most attractive countries in the world to invest in energy generation.

"We are now able to build on the measures already in place to deliver cleaner energy, affordable bills, energy security and the creation of thousands of skilled green jobs across the UK."

The investment is needed by 2020 alongside measures to improve the security of electricity supplies, and was made possible after the Energy Bill received Royal Assent.

Meanwhile, research from Scotland recently suggested that a record two fifths of electricity used in the country last year came from the renewables sector.

In fact, the Scottish Government believes it is on course to see half of its electricity use come from renewable sources by 2015.

Copyright Press Association 2013