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New energy secretary confirms green targets

Newly-appointed Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey on Monday confirmed the country’s commitment to its green energy targets and its focus on growing the offshore wind power generation capacities.

“There may have been a change at the helm, but there’ll be no change in direction or ambition,” he said at the Building Research Establishment’s Innovation Park near Watford .

“My priorities are very simple: green jobs, green growth and getting the best deal for energy bill payers.”

Davey’s predecessor at the department, Chris Huhne, resigned last week after England’s top prosecutor said he would be charged over allegations his wife took the blame for a speeding offence that he had committed.

Davey said he has “long believed in the need to marry our economic and environmental agendas” and that “greening the economy isn’t just good for the planet – it’s good for the wallets, purses and pockets of every British citizen too.”

He also said that by focusing on low carbon industries, Britain would rebalance its economy, reducing its dependence on the City of London and also on oil and gas imports from unstable parts of the world.

Speaking at the same event, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that the UK had “every reason to be confident” in the sector.

“The combination of enviable wind, wave and tidal power, a world-beating research base and a proud history of engineering give the UK a clear competitive edge.”

Clegg said that 2011 had seen record-breaking global investment in renewables, outstripping the cash piled into fossil fuels, but that new economic powerhouses such as China, India, Korea and Brazil were now serious contenders for that capital.

“So the choice for the UK is simple: wake up, or end up playing catch up. In today’s world, the savviest states understand that going for growth means going green. Low-carbon markets are the next frontier in the battle for global pre-eminence.”

(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Richard Borsuk)