Devon and Cornwall were named today as Britain’s first “low-carbon economic area” under government plans to develop major tidal and wind energy projects

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Peter Mandelson, the Business Secretary, said that the South West was the

obvious starting point for an environmental transformation of the UK economy

that, he claimed, would create 100,000 jobs within six years.

Announcing the Low Carbon Industrial Strategy, Lord Mandelson said that the

global market for low-carbon goods and services was already worth £3

trillion but could grow to £4.3 trillion by 2015 and may expand even faster

if a climate change deal is reached in Copenhagen later this year.

He said that the Government would help to fund a new wave and tidal energy

demonstrator facility in Cornwall, Wave Hub, with a £30 million grant.

The programme would also include the £15 million Peninsula Research Institute

for Marine Renewable Energy, a joint initiative by the Universities of

Exeter and Plymouth.

Further funding would be directed into low-carbon technologies via the South

West Regional Development Agency.

Other low-carbon economic areas would be established in due course, the report

said.

Britain aims to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide by 80 per cent by 2050 — a

plan that will require a massive shift in the way the country produces,

transmits and consumes energy.

Britain’s low-carbon sector will be one of the few areas of the economy that

will expand during the economic downturn, the report said.

It also set out plans to make £120 million available for the development of a

British-based offshore wind industry, as part of efforts to install 3,000

wind turbines off the UK’s shores by 2020.

There will be up to £15 million capital investment to establish a Nuclear

Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and a £4 million expansion of the

Manufacturing Advisory Service to provide specialist advice to industry on

low-carbon opportunities.

A further £10 million will be spent on acceleration of the infrastructure for

charging electric vehicles.

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