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Norfolk is a major energy hub for the entire UK. For over 40 years Norfolk has been the centre of the Southern North Sea production of oil and gas and it has now become a centre for the offshore renewables industry.
The Bacton Gas Terminal already supplies over 30% of the country’s gas and links the UK with energy supplies throughout Europe. Depleted gas wells are now going to be used as strategic gas storage ensuring year round gas availability as well as for carbon capture and storage. Companies such as Perenco, Aquaterra Energy and Acteon are exporting their innovation and knowledge around the world.
The new £80 million EastPort deep water harbour at Great Yarmouth is situated near to the majority of the offshore wind sites and the county has a very strong specialist energy and marine engineering reputation. Norfolk companies such as Sea Jacks are creating innovative solutions to the challenges faced by developers creating and servicing offshore wind farms.
Norfolk is also a pioneering force in renewable energy development. British Sugar is producing bio-ethanol from sugar beet at their Wissington plant (and using the waste heat to become one of the largest tomato growers). The UEA is using a highly efficient wood gasification plant to provide both power and heat to the university whilst reducing the carbon footprint by 40%.
With over £80 billion forecast to be spent in the North Sea area by 2020, and with the natural gas, renewable and environmental expertise in the county, Norfolk will continue to play a major strategic role in securing a balanced mix of affordable, sustainable energy on the journey to a low carbon future for the 21st century.