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Isle of Wight 'can lead the green agenda'

Wed 3 Aug 2011

Isle of Wight 'can lead the green agenda'

The Isle of Wight should push forward and attempt to shape the green agenda.

This is the view of the energy and climate change minister Chris Huhne, who travelled to the island this week to check out some of the latest eco-friendly schemes and technology.

Speaking to Isle of Wight Radio, the Liberal Democrat MP said a priority has to be to make homes and businesses more energy-efficient.

"If the county gets its act together and really leads this, in terms of getting energy saving going on across the island, the energy from waste proposals and also proposals for onshore wind, then a lot can be done," he added.

The representative of Eastleigh was at the official opening of the new £50m research and development facility at Stag Lane by Vestas and called on islanders to embrace clean fuel, claiming to be very much in favour of onshore wind developments.

He explained the Burseldon Windmill is one of the most popular tourist destinations in his constituency, so it may be the case Isle of Wight holidays become more popular if the island works hard to become eco-friendly over the coming years.

Some 220 workers are set to be employed at the new research and development facility, while the Vestas chief executive officer and president Ditlev Engel acknowledged the loss of 600 Isle of Wight jobs at the manufacturing site at St Cross Business Park in 2009.

He explained the company stated it wanted to remain on the island and develop wind turbine blades and added he is "very happy" to honour the promise he made.

Around 50 of the islanders who lost their jobs at the manufacturing site have been found new positions at the facility.

Mr Engel held a meeting with Mr Huhne, as well as personally giving him a tour around the research and development centre.

Posted by Adam Pearson ADNFCR-3083-ID-800675009-ADNFCR

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