The Liberal Democrats are “spearheading” a push for growth centred around green energy that could one day see Yorkshire return to its industrial heyday, the Energy Secretary has said as he reveals a key decision over funding for “clean coal” projects is now only weeks away.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post ahead of his party’s autumn conference, which gets underway in Brighton this morning, Ed Davey said his overriding aim is to tap the region’s “huge potential” in areas such as offshore wind and carbon capture and storage (CCS).
After two-and-a-half years in Government the Lib Dems are entering a pivotal moment in their history, with poll ratings still desperately low and their party leader, Nick Clegg, feeling compelled this week to apologise for his broken pledge over tuition fees.
But Mr Davey – who took on the energy brief following the resignation of Chris Huhne in February – remains confident his party is making the right choices to engineer a long called-for industrial revival.
“Green energy is powering growth across the country, but particularly in areas like Yorkshire,” Mr Davey said. “There is huge potential which we are only beginning to untap.
“I think Yorkshire can be thankful that Liberal Democrats have spearheaded the push for green growth.”
The Yorkshire Post is lobbying for the Government to support the region’s hopes of developing its own CCS network with funding from the £1bn pot set aside by the Treasury.
Mr Davey revealed a decision will be made within weeks, and that it is possible the entire £1bn will be handed to a single project – raising hopes Yorkshire could secure the full £1bn.