Labour has unveiled plans to build 37 new offshore wind farms in the UK, with a 51% publicly-owned stake if it wins power.
Shadow BEIS Secretary Rebecca Long Bailey announced the ‘People’s Power Plan’, with the aim of deploying clean energy “at the scale and pace needed to deal with the climate emergency” at the party conference in Brighton.
That would mean delivering 52GW of offshore wind over the next decade – enough electricity to power 57 million households or equivalent to 38 coal-fired power stations.
Under the plan, a ‘People’s Power Fund’ would also be created from 20% of all profits from the publicly-owned stake, investing between £600 million and £1,020 million every year into infrastructure in “held-back” coastal communities such as harbour fronts, leisure centres, libraries and parks.
The remaining 80% of profits would be reinvested in new renewable energy generation, improvements to the wider energy system and the climate transition.
Labour says its Regional Energy Agencies would be responsible for owning, developing and operating the public stake in new offshore wind farms, similar to the role of public energy companies in Belgium, Denmark and Germany.
The party expects its plan to create at least 67,000 new high-skilled jobs in Scotland, Yorkshire and North East England.
Ms Bailey said: “Britain has long benefited from its windy shores, with the wind playing an essential role in our history as a seafaring nation. Our wind will soon become our largest energy source.
“While UK’s offshore wind industry is still young, the UK has the opportunity to avoid replicating Britain’s experience with North Sea oil and instead to learn from countries such as Norway and Sweden by owning what is already ours.
“By taking a stake in offshore wind, we can collectively benefit from the profits, investing them back into our held back coastal communities. That wind will turn into harbour fronts and libraries. Instead of jackets for wind farms located in Scotland being made in Indonesia, we’ll bring those jobs back to Fife.
“As part of our Green Industrial Revolution – we can tackle the climate emergency and create a better economy for us all.”
Labour has also unveiled plans to invest £3.6 billion in charging networks “to jumpstart the transition” to electric vehicles (EVs)