Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Greg Barker visited the University of Lincoln on March 20 and praised energy innovation in the county.
The minister was welcomed at the Siemens Engineering Hub for a tour of the building and a demonstration of work from the department’s first group of undergraduates.
Minister Greg Barker, who also has a background in the energy sector and served as Head of International Investor for a major Russian oil company for 10 years, said that investment in the sector is imperative.
“What I’ve seen today in Lincoln is a great example of the growth in engineering, skills science and innovation that’s going on around the UK”, said Minister Greg Barker.
“We need another hundred billion pounds to go into the UK energy sector over the next decade.
“It is vital that we don’t import the kit, we’ve got to make it here. Here in Lincoln you can see it right before your eyes.”
Proposals for local investment in renewables has been met with objection in the past.
After calling a halt to the “unrestrained spread of wind farms” in 2013, Lincolnshire County Council conducted a survey which indicated more than two thirds of local residents were against wind farms.
The minister said: “It’s absolutely right that the community should have a say on where we deploy renewable energy.
“The fact is the big advance now in wind deployment is going to be offshore, that’s the new frontier. But there are a range of other opportunities that the government is supporting with innovation funding.
“At the Technology Hub I have met graduates who are looking at ways to use local biomass like trees and plant discards that can be turned into energy.”
Steve Middlebrough, Director of Service Engineering for Siemens in Lincoln, greeted the minister at the University of Lincoln.
He said: “Getting the minister here now at this stage, when we’ve got our first graduates coming out is great.
“We want people in government to see what real industry and education collaboration looks like, so we are delighted that he found the time to come and see us.
“What’s great about the hub is that we now have a pipeline of local talent that we will release into the local community.”