WIND power may have grabbed the headlines, but there are many more opportunities for Merseyside businesses to make money from the green economy.
That was one of the messages from the last in a series of LDP Business debates on the sectors that will shape the city region’s economy in the future.
The debate - which you can watch by clicking here - focused on the low-carbon economy, the sector which regeneration agency The Mersey Partnership (TMP) hopes can create 12,000 jobs in the Liverpool city region by 2015.
The panel discussed the opportunities that the offshore wind industry could offer to Merseyside.
Liverpool is well-placed to benefit from firms looking to build turbines here before installing them in the Irish Sea.
Both Cammell Laird in Birkenhead and Peel Ports, owner of the Port of Liverpool, are looking to grab a slice of that market.
The region could also become a base for the maintenance teams who will be needed to look after the turbines once built.
Several developments are already under way. Denmark’s Dong Energy, for example, is planning a £450m expansion of its Burbo Bank facility in Liverpool Bay.
But panellist Carl Beer, chief executive of Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority, said businesses in the region should look not just at wind, but at other areas of the green economy - such as recycling, or microgeneration of power.
He said: "The city region does have a jewel in the crown with the final assembly business (for wind turbines). But growth has to come across all sectors.
"The city region must do everything, across all businesses large and small.
"There’s a whole raft of work that needs to go on to decarbonise the economy of the city region."
TMP has set up a Liverpool City Region Low Carbon Economy Committee to promote and stimulate growth in the sector.
Asked how Merseyside could benefit from the offshore wind industry, TMP’s low carbon economy manager Mark Knowles said: "Offshore wind has already started. If you look out from Wirral or Sefton, you can see turbines already there. We have started this journey. It’s significantly ramping up."
Mr Knowles said that while the companies leading wind power developments were largely from Europe rather than the UK, they would be looking for local partners to develop their windfarms. That, he says, will lead to opportunities for the city region.
"Each turbine is the size of the Gherkin in terms of height and has the sweep of the London Eye," he said.
"Final assembly has to be done in a port-based facility. We have those at the Port of Liverpool and at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead and Peel have identified those opportunities."