Industry body RenewableUK named a former member of parliament for one of Britain’s offshore wind hotspots as its deputy chief executive.
Melanie Onn represented Great Grimsby in the Westminster Parliament between 2015 and last year.
Grimsby, on the northeast coast of England, is part of a regional offshore wind hub that’s emerged over the last decade to serve giant developments in the North Sea, including Orsted’s Hornsea projects that are currently the largest on the planet.
Along with neighbouring Hull, Grimsby is regularly cited globally as an early example of how offshore wind can help regenerate coastal economies that have fallen on tough times.
Onn will lead efforts to help develop the UK’s renewable energy supply chain and skills, including helping more women enter the sector, said RenewableUK, which is focused on the onshore, offshore, and marine energy sectors.
The former MP – among numerous members of the opposition Labour Party swept away in northern England in the governing Conservative Party’s recent election victory – joins as the sector faces some key challenges, including meeting the UK’s increased offshore wind ambitions, fighting the exclusion of onshore wind from national support mechanisms, and balancing local content with demand for cheaper power.
Onn said: “The transition to a net zero economy is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the UK to create new industries and jobs. I only need to look at my hometown of Grimsby, where investment in offshore wind is playing a major role in starting to revitalise the local economy and supporting regeneration.”