Nick Clegg said Britain must "put the foot down on the accelerator" in developing renewable energy as he prepared to launch a new Government strategy for offshore wind power.
The strategy, to be unveiled by the Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Secretary Ed Davey in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, later today will set out plans to help make Britain "the most cutting-edge green economy in the world".
Mr Clegg said yesterday that the sector "has the potential to create 30,000 jobs and contribute a further £7 billion to the economy by the end of this decade".
Lord Howell of Guildford drew gasps of astonishment from the House of Lords when he suggested fracking could take place in the North East without any impact on the surrounding environment.
He said during Lords Questions:
Would you accept that it could be a mistake to think of and discuss fracking in terms of the whole of the United Kingdom in one go?
I mean there obviously are, in beautiful natural areas, worries about not just the drilling and the fracking, which I think are exaggerated, but about the trucks, and the delivery, and the roads, and the disturbance, and those about justified worries.
To stunned exclamations, the southern-based peer added:
But there are large and uninhabited and desolate areas. Certainly in part of the North East where there's plenty of room for fracking, well away from anybody's residence where we could conduct without any kind of threat to the rural environment.
The number of hospital admissions for people under 30 with alcoholic liver disease has increased by 400 per cent in the North East, experts have warned.
Compared to an overall increase of 117 per cent across the UK, health consultants say the figure is "extremely worrying".
Research by Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, has shown that 115 people under the age of 30 were admitted to hospital for alcoholic liver disease last year, compared to 23 ten years ago.
Dr Steven Masson, Freeman Hospitals Liver Transplant Unit, said: "We need to ensure that people are aware of the dangers. The earlier the age at which people drink, and the more they drink, the greater the chance of developing terminal liver disease in adult life."
The child poverty map reveals the depth and breadth of child poverty across the country showing the gross levels of inequality that children face in every region. Far too many children whose parents are struggling to making a living are having to go hungry and miss out on the essentials of a decent childhood that all young people should be entitled to.
The huge disparities that exist across the country have become more entrenched and are now an enduring reality as many more children are set to become trapped in long term poverty and disadvantage.
Local authorities are having to deal with reduced budgets but they have critical decisions to make. Were calling on authorities to prioritise low income families in the decisions they make about local welfare spending, including spending on the new council tax benefit, and on protecting families hit by the bedroom tax.
This week we have written to local authority leaders in the local authorities with the most child poverty, asking them what they will do to tackle child poverty in their local area.
– Enver Solomon, Chair of the End Child Poverty campaign