Visitor offers energy insight

EUROPEAN officials have been giving an insight into how low carbon economy could transform North Tyneside’s future.

A representative of Germany, a world leader in pioneering the use of renewable energy, was given a tour of the former Swan Hunter shipyard in Wallsend to hear about the plans being drawn up for the borough.

Wolfgang Moessinger, Germany’s consul-general for the north east, was given a tour of the site by North Tyneside mayor Linda Arkley.

In an address to representatives of the various organisations invited along, Mr Moessinger said the low-carbon and renewable energy sector would be critical to future economic growth in the region, pointing to the experiences of the German government in making the transition to renewable energy sources in the domestic and commercial markets.

The Swan Hunter site has been earmarked as one of the largest potential locations for renewable energy and marine-related use on the north bank of the Tyne.

Mrs Arkley said: “I am delighted the German consul-general has accepted my invitation to come to North Tyneside and share his experience and expertise in this field.

“His invaluable knowledge will undoubtedly help our understanding of how North Tyneside can make the most of valuable emerging opportunities in the renewable sector.

“The visit will also provide an important opportunity to support closer working with our European partners in the longer term.”

Jo Chexal, German honorary consul for the north east, added: “Germany, a world leader in promoting renewable forms of energy, intends by 2020 to have raised the proportion of renewables in its electricity consumption to at least 30 per cent and estimates that this policy will lead to the creation of 500,000 new jobs in Germany.

“The north east may be able to benefit from the experience of countries such as Germany in formulating its own renewables policy.”