Green biz holds great prospects for Kent

More than 80 business people in Kent got together with Kent County Council and Kent Economic Board to discuss how low carbon and green energy projects can help to grow the Kent economy.

Opening the event at East Malling Conference centre, Kent County Council Leader Paul Carter said:

“This is one of a number of conversations we are having to consider what the public sector can do to help and support your industries to thrive.

“With the largest coastal strip of any county, offshore wind is Kent’s main development opportunity for this sector. We have recently heard some very encouraging news from VESTAS, the world’s largest offshore turbine manufacturer, with their announcement of up to 2,000 potential jobs at a new manufacturing and assembly plant at Sheerness.

“Three offshore wind projects, Kentish Flats, Thanet Offshore and London Array, with operational and maintenance bases in Kent, would provide more than 125 jobs, with the potential for another 650 jobs by 2020.”

Developers were also working on proposals for Richborough energy park, a recycling and sorting plant near Sandwich, which would capture energy from waste through different technologies.

Mr Carter said using Kentish wood fuel in biomass boilers had the potential to heat around 10,000 homes in the county. He cited Valley Park Community School in Maidstone, the first in Kent to heat its classrooms using Kent wood chips, saving £30,000 a year on fuel bills.

Elias Dencker, a project manager with London Array, said there were other good news stories for wind power in Kent. A renewable energy company in Gravesend was exporting spare parts to California, and there could be local jobs for companies that research opportunities to compete for maintenance contracts in Kent’s offshore wind turbines.

Peter Mills of New Earth Solutions described his Blaise project at West Malling, the first of its kind in the country, which was converting 50,000 tonnes of organic waste a year into 25,000 tonnes of compost, under a 15-year contract with the county council.

Delegates discussed how they could take advantage of the opportunities after hearing from Alan Banks, from Envirobusiness, that the Government’s priorities were getting behind low carbon projects, energy efficiency, microgeneration and others.

Summing up, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, Kevin Lynes, said:

“This event has demonstrated how many leading edge businesses in this sector we have in Kent. This is a brand new industry with superb growth opportunities and we are right on the ground floor of it.

“We need to help build on the recent successes and make Kent the place of choice for the renewable energy industry.”

1 Comment

  1. The Abbey hotel welcomes new business to The Isle of Sheppey. Offering good food with clean and comfortable accomodation close to Sheerness. At reasonable corporate rates.

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