'The Grand Green Isle'
The green sector is a huge area of economic growth. With our offshore wind farm potentially inspiring other companies to invest, it is vital that Thanet is not left at the end of the line of investment opportunities.
Laura Sandys MP at the Department of Energy and Climate Change
High quality jobs in Kent, X-Wind Power Ltd. now actively recruiting
6th September 2013
X-Wind Power, manufacturer of the world’s most advanced vertical axis wind turbines, is relocating its operations to Discovery Park, Sandwich in Kent. Dong Energy described X-Wind as a ‘potentially game changing technology’.
X-wind Power are extremely grateful for the support received to date from key figures within Kent including: Kent County Council; Locate in Kent and Laura Sandys MP.
Laura says: “I’m delighted that X-Wind will shortly be based in East Kent, their innovative approach to wind energy generation is truly enlightened, demonstrating how existing roads, railways and sea defences can be used to generate significant amounts of energy.” Laura Sandys MP [Thanet South]
The relocation to Kent has, in part, been facilitated by the offer of a £600,000 financial package from the East Kent Regional Development Fund.
As part of the relocation X-Wind Power are gearing up their recruitment activities with the aim to hire 16 people in 2013 and 90 people within the next five years. The company is seeking engineers and technicians to become key members of the design team to develop and bring to market the next generation of wind turbines. Apprenticeships are also on offer for candidates with the right attitude and motivation.
“Kent offers X-Wind highly talented people living close to our future base at Discovery Park. The communication infrastructure and the quality of people locally were some of the deciding factors in choosing Kent for our business.” Michael Blaize, X-Wind Power CEO
Interested candidates can now apply through X-Wind Power web site.
For more information about X-Wind Power and available vacancies, please visit www.x-windpower.com.
Sandys in This Week's Prime Minister's Questions
11th July 2013
Following on from the opening of London Array by the Prime Minister last week, he shared how impressed he is with Thanet in this week's Prime Minister's Questions:
You can see Laura's question to the PM online by clicking on the below link (at 15:27).
Laura Sandys Welcomes Prime Minister to Thanet
4th July 2013
“Ramsgate; Aberdeen of Wind”
Laura Sandys welcomed the Prime Minister to Thanet today as he attended the inauguration of the world’s largest offshore wind farm, with 250 global energy investors, operators and experts.
Laura said: “It was fantastic to host the Prime Minister in Thanet today. We are at the heart of the world’s offshore renewable energy sector and today’s event marks the recognition of this at the very highest level of Government. It was also lovely to be able to accompany him around Turner Contemporary with its Director, Victoria Pomery.
“To borrow some words from the Prime Minister, this wind farm really is a great win for Ramsgate. Into the future, it will prove to be a huge employment asset. We are thrilled that Ramsgate is now the port of choice for the Operations and Maintenance for London Array. With 89 jobs already secured and 6 apprentices, we are looking to establish Ramsgate as the ‘Aberdeen of Wind.’ This is a real opportunity for regeneration.
“Whilst the Prime Minister was in Thanet, I took the opportunity of introducing him to Paul Barber, Managing Director of Discovery Park. The Prime Minister has been instrumental in supporting us there and helping to secure its Enterprise Zone status. With 1300 people now employed on site, it was great to be able to introduce him to Paul as well as the heads of two of the largest companies located there – Pfizer and Mylan.
“I am very proud of what we have achieved in Thanet and it was great to be able to show this not only to the Prime Minister but also to the Secretary of State, and Minister of State from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey MP and Greg Barker MP.
“Today has put Thanet on the map at the very centre of the renewables world.”
Sandys Celebrates Climate Week
5th March 2013
Local MP Laura Sandys is to host a Climate Week meeting this Friday evening (8th March) in Ramsgate. Climate Week is Britain’s biggest climate change campaign showcasing solutions to the problems arising from climate change from every sector of society.
Laura who was recently appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Greg Barker, Minister for Energy and Climate Change said: “Thanet has huge potential to become a hub of green economic activity.
“Green Business is already beginning to thrive locally and in the South East alone, there are 6,585 companies involved in green business employing 119,860 people. In total £1,796.6 million is contributed to UK exports from green companies in the region.
“Businesses across Thanet are helping to drive energy efficiency and generate growth and jobs. Energy efficiency schemes like our Green Deal are empowering people to have the chance to save money on their energy bills by reducing the need to spend so much to stay warm. Climate Week 2013 offers a great chance for us to look not only at the environmental but also the economic benefits of going green in Thanet.
“This meeting will be an exciting opportunity to discuss the potential to boost Thanet’s economy through green business. It will also be a great opportunity for local residents to come along and tell me what they think about climate issues so that I can feed this back to the Government.”
Green Deal Energy Savings for Thanet- £1000 potentially off Green Deal measures
20th February 2013
Laura Sandys is calling on local residents in Thanet to take up the opportunity to not only make their homes more energy efficient but dramatically reduce their energy bills. Households in England and Wales who use the Green Deal to make energy saving home improvements will now also qualify for hundreds of pounds of cashback from the Green Deal Cashback Scheme. The more work households decide to have done, the more cash they could receive and packages could be worth over £1,000.
Laura who is Parliamentary Private Secretary to Greg Barker, Minister of State at the Department of Energy of Climate Change said:
“I was delighted to speak at the launch of the Green Deal, the Coalition Government’s new initiative to transform the energy efficiency market and at long last puts consumers in charge. It’s a great new scheme that allows people to make their homes warmer and save energy at the same time. This will have a particularly dramatic impact on fuel poverty as it will ensure that people will not need to spend so much on their energy bills in the long-term.
“It is also great for local businesses, creating a new market and new jobs in Thanet. Britain has some of the least energy efficient buildings in the world and this scheme gives people a new way of paying for energy efficient improvements such as insulation and new heating systems. There are 45 different types of improvements currently available under the Green Deal in Thanet, helping people warm up their homes and pay for some or all of the improvements over time through their electricity bill. The Green Deal really has the potential to transform people’s homes across Thanet.”
Households in England and Wales who use the Green Deal to make energy saving home improvements will now also qualify for hundreds of pounds of cashback from the Green Deal Cashback Scheme. The more work households decide to have done, the more cash they could receive and packages could be worth over £1,000.
For more information on how the Green Deal can help you, visit: www.gov.uk/greendeal or call 0300 123 1234.
Government's Energy Bill Gives Green Light to Investment and Jobs in Thanet
3rd December 2012
By publishing the Energy Bill, the Government has given the green light to the expansion of the low carbon economy across Kent. As Kent County Council – for Thanet in particular – are working to attract green investors to the region, the Bill should provide the trigger needed to secure inward investment and create jobs across the supply chain.
Laura Sandys MP – Private Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of State, Greg Barker MP, said: “The Energy Bill should provide a clear policy framework that will stimulate billions of pounds of investment in renewables, creating an estimated 88,000 jobs in wind, wave and tidal energy alone in 2021. As we are the leader in wind with the largest wind farm in the world we will benefit too!”
“With Thanet’s Wind Farm and London Array located at Ramsgate Port, and Thanet College having won £2million of funding to develop a Sustainable Skills Centre, we are already on the way to claiming the title of Green Grand Isle.”
Laura Sandys MP New PPS to Minister of State, Greg Barker MP
19th September 2012
Laura Sandys MP has been appointed as the new Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State for the Department for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Barker MP.
Laura said: “It is a real privilege to be working as Greg Barker MP’s PPS. Having worked with the energy sector for 20 years prior to my election to Parliament, I hope I can bring some of my experience to the role.
“Having also worked briefly at the Consumer Association I am very aware of the challenges faced by customers with rising bills. With the roll-out of the Green Deal just around the corner, we have a real opportunity to improve the UK’s housing stock, reduce energy bills and keep families warm.
“I also look forward to working closely with the Department, colleagues, and the wider energy sector to ensure the arguments for energy investment and green growth are clearly made and understood. Already, the green economy represents a huge part of the UK economy and has created more jobs than sectors such as ICT, finance, insurance, and the motor trade. Transitioning to a green economy is not a nice to have, but a total necessity if we are to achieve long term economic growth.”
Laura Sandys MP is a Conservative Member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee. Prior to her election to Parliament, Laura’s company worked for the the energy sector for 20 years and she was an advisor to the Georgian Government on the Baku–Ceyhan Pipeline Project. She is a leading advocate of modernising our economy through de-carbonisation and low input re-engineering of our energy and manufacturing sector, to remain internationally competitive and achieve long term growth and energy security.
Laura Speaks at Policy Exchange on Policies Needed to Attract Green Growth for Britain
5th September 2012
On Tuesday 4th September, Laura Sandys MP, Member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee spoke at a well-attended Policy Exchange event entitled 'Low Carbon Britain: Policies to Attract Green Growth for Britain.' Prior to her election to Parliament, Laura worked as a Consultant to the energy sector for 15 years, advising the Georgian Government on the Baku – Ceyhan Pipeline Project and counting BP as one of her clients. She actively campaigns for the greening of the East Kent economy and regularly comments in Parliament and the national media on the need to transition to a green economy.
Laura's speech is reproduced below:
The real barometer of success will be when we no longer discuss the Green Economy. The word ‘renewable’ will be dropped because renewable will be the norm. Instead, the term “fossil” will be used explicitly.
There are few terms in today’s industrial dictionary that are so loose, so ill-defined, as the term “The Green Economy”. Green jobs might have green outcomes, but not necessarily green functions. From the heavy engineering behind the construction of wind farms, to the white coats in universities perfecting smart metering technology, to those who will install the Green Deal – all of these job opportunities comprise part of the Green Economy.
And for those who think transitioning to a green economy is a gamble or a pursuit for more bountiful times, we must be clear that it is not a niche market. Already, it represents a significant part of the UK economy securing more jobs than sectors such as ICT, finance and insurance, and the motor trade. It is a growth sector - low carbon and environmental goods and services grew by 4.6% in 2009/10.
But the green economy must permeate beyond the confines of the energy sector. We need to re-engineer our economic model. With a 53% increase in energy consumption forecast by 2035, those who are commercially savvy will recognise that in a resource poor future, we cannot be captured by a profligate economic model from the past.
Over the last 30 years, businesses have had to manage energy costs that have risen by 120% above inflation. Any country that is serious about future economic competitiveness will ensure that they limit their reliance on fluctuating, politicised energy imports. Even the Governor of the Bank of England has acknowledged that corporate or national exposure to fossil fuels could be considered a risk to financial security. Greening the economy is not a “nice to have” but a total necessity.
The green economy, however, will not be achieved through one set of regulations or one Act of Parliament. To flourish, the green economy requires three core elements: smart consumers; smarter businesses and Governments with real foresight. Consumers can help drive innovation in the sector. Financial constraints are already encouraging the consumer to be more discerning about their energy consumption. Manufacturers should respond in kind with technologies that allow families to control and manage their energy use.
But while the majority of “change” will emanate from private sector driven innovation, Government does need to be the chief cheerleader in greening the UK’s economy.
We must back renewables, substitutes and re-engineering. Similar to the support delivered to graphene, we should be supporting synthetic rare earth development and renewable replacements for minerals. Many key industrial processes could be reengineered away from high intensive energy consumption.
Government cannot choose winners and losers, but it can showcase some of the most effective technologies. Government procures and works with the defence industry to bring longer term research projects to market. The funding of the likes of QinetiQ and BAE Systems are testament to innovation generated from government supported research. What better test-bed than using government procurement to assess some of the more innovative products and processes that could build greater resilience to cost. Indeed, a recent Carbon Connect report revealed that £7 billion in operational costs could be saved through installing energy efficiency measures across local and national Government property stocks.
We should also examine how we can start decoupling the wholesale price of domestically produced energy to that of the world market. While this will take some time, ultimately we need to price our various energy sources according to cost, not merely global prices.
And with Ofgem predicting that energy costs could rise by 60% by 2016, Government must start being explicit with the public that the cost of energy is going to increase significantly. The public might be more supportive of Government investment in alternative green technologies if it understands the context of rising fossil fuel prices and the historic levels of financial support offered to traditional conceptions of the energy sector.
But as everyone in this room knows the Government must also deliver a consistent and coherent policy framework by which existing operators in the renewable energy sector grow while providing policy certainty to new entrants.
The Electricity market reform Bill must deliver an Act that does not complicate decision making but expedite it; that sets a clear carbon target path; that simplifies the currently complex layers of incentives, and delivers an effective capacity mechanisms. Government is promising demand reduction measures that were disappointingly left out of the Draft Bill. As we know carbon is the symptom, consumption is the problem.
But ultimately, the barometer of success will be when we no longer discuss the Green Economy. We will drop the word ‘renewable’ because renewable will be the norm. Instead, the term “fossil” will be used explicitly. There will be widespread recognition that this is as much about economic efficiencies, resilience and a modern economic model as it is about decarbonisation in the face of climate change. There is a total convergence on what is good for business and what is good for the environment.
Sandys Leads Debate Proposing Ambitious Green Industrial Strategy for Britain
28th June 2012
Laura Sandys MP Proposes Radical Green Industrial Strategy for Britain
24th May 2012
- Back Renewables: Just as Government financially backed Graphene, so too it should invest in renewable technologies, replacement products for non-renewable resources like rare earths, and new processes that re-engineer our overall economy.
- Leading from the Front: Government currently harnesses its procurement powers to fund innovation in the defence sector. It should also deliver a similar boost to green technologies through retrofitting its own property estate with low-carbon, energy efficiency devices. Such investment could also deliver the taxpayer energy savings of £7 billion.
- Transparency about the cost of energy: Government must be clear with the household and business consumer that whilst energy demand can be reduced, the unit price of energy will only ever increase. By highlighting the increasingly volatile and high cost of traditional fossil fuels, it will help demonstrate to consumers the merits of green technologies and processes to stabilise costs. For the UK to truly transition to a low-carbon model, the consumer must be on-board.
- De-coupling domestic and international energy markets: Government should examine how we can start decoupling the wholesale price of domestically produced non-fossil fuel energy to that of the world market. This will not happen overnight, but as we begin to produce more of our own energy domestically it would be foolish for our prices to be shaped by fluctuating international markets.
- License Requirements: Government must take a stronger lead in ensuring that local regions benefit from the potential employment opportunities attached to low-carbon investment e.g. large scale offshore wind. To ensure local economies fully benefit, greater efforts must be made to plug any skills gaps in communities to ensure investors can source local staff and tap into local supply chains.
Laura Promotes Green Thanet to Attract Jobs and Investment
19th January 2012
Great Green News for Thanet: Thanet College gets £2 million for Green Skills Centre
22nd December 2011
Laura's Green Economy Vision - 22/07/2011
Kent’s environmental strategy is excellent – integrated - looking at climate change, life quality, the rural environment and the built environment – not least our beautiful heritage and great towns – look at Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate if you need persuading.
A good environment is a healthy environment – it is also a happy environment – but maybe one thing that we have forgotten - it is the strong basis for a prosperous environment. And with the threat of climate change those countries – those counties and those communities that do not take climate change seriously will face another problem – that are threats to economic growth, climatic shocks that cannot be managed and that cost a hell of a lot more to clear up than to have taken action beforehand.
But the issue of climate change and the impacts that it will have, can be looked at in three ways – denial that it is happening – pretty dangerous in my view; the start of a new form of green Puritanism - retribution for what we have done to the world’s environment –
or looked at as a massive opportunity. Now I could be accused of being the ultimate optimist – but I fall into the later.
But let’s just look at what is predicted to happen across East Kent – a great example actually of the impacts of climate change. Well something that some in Thanet would welcome – we could become an island again – by 2050 some predictions show that you would have had to get here by boat or bridge not via the A299. And Sandwich would be flooded regularly if we were not putting in flood defences. So on one hand we would have a lot of water – and on the other hand we would not have enough water – water to drink – water for industry – water for the Garden of England. As they say in the train business when the trees shed their leaves – we will have the wrong sort of water!
These are not easy issues to combat – but they are being addressed in this strategy – long term planning, careful remedial policies in place, deep understanding that we cannot and should not take our existing environment and pattern of life for granted. This is truly strategic - Kent takes your environment seriously and will ensure that the beauty and economic well-being of this county is preserved into the future. Kent needs to work with Nature’s grain not against it.
Now you might say what is this wacky Conservative MP talking about the environment as if she was a cheer leader for the Green Party – well the tradition of the conservative party is about long-termism, about protecting what was good while not be afraid of the new – but ensuring that change happens in balance not in jolts and shudders.
Our philosophy was and now is again about getting the balance right between unfettered capitalism with quality of life – but underlying this is the realisation that quality of life not only delivers human growth – it truly delivers long term sustainable business growth.
And it is growth that I want to talk about today – what you in this room believe in and what matters to my constituents – they want and need jobs and this green talk means nothing if it cannot be turned into an advantage – and real economic opportunity.
And I learnt this lesson from my father – in 1957 my father passed the first clean air act in the world – considered the death knell of all industrial business in this country as we knew it – it was opposed by many of his colleagues and he got hate mail from the large businesses across this country. But what really happened was that while deaths in our cities from smog related accidents plummeted, lung disease dramatically fell and our buildings stopped looking like the insides of chimneys – we became the largest exporter of clean coal technology in the world. We created a green industry sector – a technology advantage – a business opportunity that spurned growth across many parts of the UK through exports.
So if anyone tells me that there isn’t advantage in re-engineering our economy towards a safer, more sustainable model that will actually spurn new businesses and put us as a country at the head of the curve then I fundamentally disagree with them.
But what does this mean for us here today. Well I could not have been elected for an area that offers more to the economies of the future. Thanet they say deprivation, and under-developed – some say we need more development – cheap development – cheap housing – cheap jobs for transient companies who are here today and then gone tomorrow.
No Thanet is the perfect example of what a new economic model can look like. Turn under-development into an advantage and look to the businesses of the future. Agriculture – the world demand for food is rising and this country is producing less and less – price for food will rise and new technologies, new approaches to food production is needed –. And we have thanet Earth that is part of that future - a new production approach that places us here at the forefront of innovation – but we need a lot more investment in food production and food technologies
But as important as these aspects is the low carbon economy and what that it can offer us here. Please lets us not forget that we have the two largest wind farms in the world on our doorstep. This is an extraordinary opportunity for all of Kent. It is an opportunity for firms wanting to supply these large investors – and I have to say that both Vattenfall and London Array could not have been more engaged with working with the local community – they have been great partners and I want to commend them. Kent County Council has also been instrumental in supporting local companies access the opportunities available – and I commend them.
But we need to go even further – and the announcement today by Kent about their support for small businesses in the low carbon economy is crucial.
And the Government wants us to go further – the government is putting real support into renewable energy – the wind sector is really happy, those that create the technologies for micro-generation are highly supported, the building trade and insulation sectors can seriously benefit from the Green Deal – the retrofitting of 80% of housing in this country. This is a great time for those with the vision for a greener economy.
And here in Thanet we have it all – we have the lower skills that feed into the green deal and with partners like Thanet College and Canterbury Christchurch who are at the forefront of skills development for the green deal we could not be better served as a hub for this new business sector.
We have new investors coming into the area to build low carbon research and development projects at the international cutting edge of the sector using some of the research skills of our high end talent some of whom come from Pfizer.
We have the opportunity to really capitalise on the bio-science for food production emanating from the science skills that we have in the area.
I have a vision – the Green Grand Isle – one that makes the Isle of Thanet and Sandwich a pilot for building an integrated low carbon economy – macro renewables matched with micro generation – we certainly have the wind –
low skilled workforce for the green deal matched with new technologies in energy efficiency applications, electric car networks as well as biomass and waste to energy technologies.
We have innovative companies here today such as Aquaread who are at the forefront of environmental businesses that show that we have the skills to be a Green economic hub -
and not only the businesses but also the residents want to play their part in becoming part of the low carbon economy that needs individual behaviour change as much as a change in business practices.
This area has more desire for a new economic model as it didn’t benefit from the last economic model – it has ambition and desire to be part of the future not the past and I am proud to represent people who are excited by that low carbon future.
But it must be built around economic sense – and this Government will make it worthwhile for green companies to establish themselves – I have described my Green Grand isle vision to the Chancellor – Today we have the chancellors close ally in the Treasury Secretary Justine Greening announcing that green jobs matter for us here – she is at this moment visiting our wind farms off our shores... she is committed.
I have had the skills minister down here to talk about building the skill infrastructure to make it happen. We have the vision and we have the support from National government and Kent County council to make this area of East Kent a pilot for this new economic model.
Come and join us in building an economic model for the future with the support that you need and in me an advocate that will move heaven and earth – no I cannot do much about the forces of Nature – to make it happen for the benefit of us all.
Sandys Speaks at Launch of Kent Environment Strategy with Green Industry Leaders
20th July 2011
Laura Sandys, MP for South Thanet, will tomorrow deliver the key note speech with Paul Carter, leader of Kent County Council to launch the Kent Environment Strategy – “Growing the Garden: A Strategy for Environment and Economy in Kent” at the Turner Contemporary Gallery. The event will bring together leading businesses and investors from across green industries to ensure Kent benefits from this emerging sector.
Laura – who was elected onto the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and who has been leading on the green agenda for many years – said: “Kent is already emerging as the county of choice for green investment. With two of the largest wind farms in the world, East Kent now has a concentration of forward-thinking, innovative green companies, making Kent a prime location for the roll out of more low carbon industries and training facilities. By recognising the immense opportunities attached to the green economy, we have ensured green industry is central to Kent’s vision for local jobs and future growth.”
“Across East Kent and in Thanet particularly, we are set to benefit from the Government’s greenest ever policies. The Green Deal could create up to 250,000 new jobs across the supply chain – Thanet College and Canterbury Christchurch are focused on building the regional skills capacity for homes to be refitted with energy efficiency devices. Government has also created a more stable investment framework for low carbon investors with its Electricity Market Reform. Finally, finance leveraged through the Green Investment Bank will help unlock private investment across the region. The Launch of the Kent Environment Strategy will ensure that Kent owns this economic opportunity. With the green sector valued at an incredible £3.2 trillion, this is good news for small businesses, investors and residents alike.”
Sandys: Thanet Could be a Regional Hub for the Green Deal
27th May 2011
In support of shoppers across Thanet and Sandwich, today Laura Sandys MP introduced a Bill in Parliament to prevent local authorities granting planning permission on Grade 1 Agricultural Land.
My Speech to the House of Commons:
and for connected purposes.
A Great Day for Thanet The Largest Wind Farm in the World Launched in Thanet
I was even more enthused by a meeting that I had with one of the operators of our Wind Farms this week in Ramsgate. We do have an extraordinary opportunity to build a whole new industry working for and with our new investors in Thanet.
At the meeting we discussed the range of skills that our young people could be trained for at all levels supporting more jobs locally. Our college could become a centre of excellence for green skills offering the best in NVQ qualifications. The operators will in the future also need engineering graduates ensuring that our young who go off to university have some exciting work back home when they return.
There are already business opportunities for local companies and anyone who has not seen the business directory website should visit www.kentwindenergy.co.uk to register their service. From electricians through to marine maintenance, vehicle repairs, scaffolding companies and haulage companies – businesses of all sorts and all sizes are encouraged to register.
As many of you know I see a strong future for Thanet taking a lead in the green economy, capitalising on the current investment but going so much further. There are a lot of small businesses that could be established to support micro-generation of energy, we should aim for quality eco housing, establish electric power points for green cars and have a much greater focus on water management. A green economy will support our local tourism, promote the area as unique and extremely attractive and provide Thanet with a very special calling card. The Green Grand Isle!