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APPG Session on Energy and Renewables welcomes Energy Minister John Hayes MP

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire will meet with Energy Minister John Hayes MP tomorrow, to press the Government for a clearer and more coherent policy on support to the energy and renewables industry, so that the huge untapped growth and jobs potential in these sectors can be unlocked across the region.

The Group – also to be attended by Energy & Climate Change Select Committee Members, Dan Byles MP and John Robertson MP – will hear evidence from a wide range of businesses, Local Enterprise Partnerships and councillors from across the region, who have helped set out the practical steps that need to be taken, by Government and others, to make Yorkshire and Lincolnshire a Global Hub for the energy and renewables industry.

From the off-shore wind industry alone there stands to be over £100bn of investment across the UK. But the APPG meeting will highlight how critical it will be for stakeholders to work together, across all sectors, to coordinate the offer to investors in such a global and highly competitive industry. And beyond the importance of this growth and job creation for local economies across Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire, the discussion will demonstrate how critical it is for the wider UK a whole – with the risk of vital investment being lost to elsewhere in Europe unless a positive and coherent offer can be made to investors.

The APPG will hear specific evidence from:

- Maf Smith, Deputy Chief Executive of RenewableUK – the UK’s leading trade association for the renewables sector - setting out the context for how the renewables and energy sectors have the potential to drive huge economic growth and prosperity, through jobs and a reinvigorated manufacturing sector.

- Dan McGrail, Director of Strategy at Siemens, outlining how off-shore wind investment has the specific potential to unlock economic opportunities right across Yorkshire & Humber. Associate British Port’s “Green Port Hull” complex is the preferred location of Siemens’ North Sea wind turbine manufacturing export facility, expected to create around 700 direct new jobs and provide a catalyst for thousands more through the supply chain etc.

- Neil O’Hara, CEO at Eggborough Power Limited, outlining the opportunities for large-scale low carbon (e.g. biomass) energy production across Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire, building on its industrial and energy generation heritage.

- Cllr Mehboob Khan, Leader of Kirklees Council and Chair, setting out the case for how more devolved, local decision-making and leadership – such as at the levels of Local Enterprise Partnerships (e.g. Leeds City Region) – will be more effective in generating growth in energy and renewables.

The meeting comes as Government is finalising its Energy Bill - expected to set the future direction of energy policy and subsidies across the country; and at time where a number of announcements have been made by Ministers on what the Bill is likely to mean in terms of support for different parts of the energy and renewables sector (e.g. the “off-shore and on-shore wind power” debate). Hence, it provides an extremely timely opportunity for stakeholders across the region to press the case to Ministers, to help ensure that the Bill can help deliver genuine growth in these critical sectors across Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.

Following the meeting the Group will aim to develop an ‘Actions for Government’ document providing a number of solutions to the key energy and renewables growth challenges across the region.

Andrew Percy MP, Co-Chair of the Group said:

“This second meeting of the All Party Group is focusing on a vital and highly topical issue, of critical important to the future success of local economies right across Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.

Its focus will be on the steps we need to take together to make sure our communities receive the benefits of the unrivalled potential we have across the energy and renewables sectors. As MPs we have a responsibility to hear directly from industry about the factors that are influencing their decisions to invest more, and create more jobs, in the region. This session is precisely about developing that better understanding.

The Energy Bill is expected imminently and we know the Government is listening, and we need make sure it’s listening to what industry and local economies in Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire need.”

Barry Sheerman MP, Co-Chair of the Group said:

“I’m delighted we have the Energy Minister joining us for this critical discussion tomorrow.

The APPG is meeting at a time of great interest in energy and renewables policy and gives us a unique opportunity to press the case for energy and renewables growth across Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.

Our region has the potential to be a long-term global leader in these technologies, with the ability to export our knowhow and skills world-wide. But it’s a hugely competitive sector and we must do all we can to remain competitive and the best at what we do.

This meeting for me is about helping to make sure Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire doesn’t lose out”.

Cllr Mehboob Khan, Leader of Kirklees Council and Chair of Local Government Yorkshire and Humber which is providing the secretariat support to the APPG said:

“We know that local authorities, businesses and organisations such as the Local Enterprise Partnerships are doing great things together to promote growth and jobs in these sectors. It’s important to emphasise that we’re not just talking about wind power, but the entire energy sector from lower carbon energy generation and “carbon capture” technologies, through to biomass, solar and tidal power.

But it seems clear in the light of various recent energy policy announcements that there are a real risks posed by critical decisions being made Nationally on projects that are so critical to our local economies in terms of new jobs and growth.

A key message to Ministers has to be that we need more devolution in energy and renewables policy, so we can deliver locally the growth our communities need.”

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