Far, far away….
One of the problems with all the claims about new “green” jobs from the shiny new “net zero” economy our politicians promise us (or threaten us with, depending on your point of view) is that the massive expansion of “renewables”, in particular wind farms, has produced so few jobs at the cost of such massive damage to our wild places. A side effect of making energy expensive and unreliable is that much of the UK’s capacity to make things has been exported to other countries with lower environmental standards than the UK now enjoys, so the claimed reduction in greenhouse gases as a result of going down this route is dubious, to say the least, since often the things we need are now produced in countries that rely on coal-fired plants to produce their electricity, and then the products have to be transported long distances back to the UK. The sense of that escapes me. It escapes others too.
Broken promises and offshored jobs
This is the title to a reporti prepared in 2019 by the Scottish TUC, on employment in the low-carbon and renewable energy (LCRE) economy. Having first made the necessary genuflection towards the supposed need for an LCRE economy (“the STUC is absolutely committed to building a low-carbon economy and meeting climate change targets”), the STUC then goes on to produce damning information regarding the difference between the Scottish Government’s repeated promises of employment in this area against the reality:
However, we are criticising the failure of industrial policy to ensure that workers, businesses and Government in Scotland benefit from Scotland’s natural resources. Without a domestic industrial base for the LCRE economy, not only will workers in Scotland miss out, but there are serious implications in terms of tax, transparency, economic democracy and meeting climate targets.
The report refers to numerous promises made by the Scottish Government over the years:
Harnessing Scotland’s Marine Energy Potential (2004) – 7,000 direct jobs in the marine industry by 2020.
Renewables Gap Chain Analysis (2004) – 17,000-35,000 jobs by 2020.
Low Carbon Economic Strategy (2010) – annual growth of 4% a year to 130,000 jobs by 2020 (and 5% of the overall workforce). Of the 60,000 new jobs to be created between 2010-2020, 26,000 in renewables; 26,000 in low-carbon tech; and 8,000 in environmental management.
2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland (2011) – 40,000 jobs in renewables by 2020.
Scotland’s Energy Strategy (2017) – 4,000 jobs per annum in energy efficiency programmes.
The report looks at the information made available to that point by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The extraordinary fact was that over the time-frame covered by the STUC report, employment in the LCRE economy was falling, and the numbers were nowhere near the levels suggested by the various plans, reports and promises over the years:
While there are issues with the quality of the estimates, the latest figures released in January 2019 estimate 21,400 direct full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in the LCRE economy in 2017. This is a fall from 23,900 the previous year. The ONS estimate a further 25,000 indirect jobs in 2017, taking the total number of direct and indirect jobs in Scotland to 46,400. This was a fall from 50,500 in 2016, but slightly higher than 45,800 in 2015.
The reasons for this were obvious. The lack of a domestic supply chain and manufacturing base means that imports exceed exports in these areas, and what is needed is being made abroad rather than in the UK, at the expense of British jobs. And the trade balance in this regard was widening. Lots of examples were given in the STUC report, such as:
Moray East Windfarm
100 turbines off the coast of Caithness are being built by a consortium involving Portugal’s main energy firm EDPR, French utility Engie and Diamond Generating Europe, a subsidiary of Japanese firm Mitsubishi Corporation. The blades are being built by Danish company, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind – a joint venture between Vestas Wind Systems and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. MHI Vestas have a plant in the Isle of Wight that employs 300 people. Under the previous ownership of Vestas the Isle of Wight plant was closed in 2009, leading to the loss [of] 425 jobs (and a high profile 18 day blockade by workers and activists). The wind turbine jackets are being handled by a ‘first tier’ Belgian procurement contractor called Deme. Deme awarded the contract for 45 jackets to Lamprell – a company in the United Arab Emirates. Lamprell made a 98m dollar loss on its contract for 60 jackets for Scottish Power Renewables, developer of the East Anglia One wind array, suggesting it does not have a great track record in wind turbine jackets.
Numerous other similar examples were given:
Kinkardineshire Offshore Wind Limited – a Spanish joint venture; Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited – a joint venture involving Danes and the European subsidiary of a Chinese company with, allegedly, migrant workers being paid less than the minimum wage, with special concessions granted by the Home Office to allow the employment of Russian and Indonesian workers; Afton Windfarm, with health & safety issues alleged by STUC, owned (at the time of the report, after various changes of ownership) by the European subsidiary of a Chinese company, the turbines having been manufactured in Spain; issues with decommissioning of oil rigs, being transported by Chinese ships to Bangladesh for the purpose.
The STUC’s conclusion was clear:
The examples above illustrate that [there is] a clear over-reliance on overseas financial interests in the LCRE economy. They also illustrate that where low carbon jobs have been created, too often these have been poor quality and non-unionised. This chimes with academic studies showing that green jobs are particularly insecure and prone to the volatility of the market.
The whole report is worth reading for a summary of much that is wrong in this area. The conclusions are worth quoting:
Past predictions of employment in the LCRE economy have not translated into the jobs boom promised. The LCRE economy is characterised by overseas financial interests, a limited industrial base and precarious work. This is a failure of industrial policy that means workers, businesses and Government in Scotland do not benefit from Scotland’s natural resources. It has serious implications not only in in terms of jobs but also in terms of tax revenues, transparency, and economic democracy.
On 17th April 2019, the GMB Union responded to the STUC report, with comments that are still available on that union’s websiteii:
The report reinforces what we have consistently argued about the reality of renewables employment and the challenges posed by the transition to a low carbon economy. Ultimately, it shows what happens when politicians preach and don’t plan.
BiFab is the case in point. Despite all the talk of a green jobs revolution, the fabrication yards in Burntisland and Methil remain empty
The manufacture of 100 turbine jackets and five floating platforms for the Moray East and Kincardine projects will not take place in Fife but in Belgium, the North East of England [hoorah!], Spain and the United Arab Emirates; the result of our industry being controlled by European state subsided energy firms, Far East finance and Middle East sovereign wealth, and their supply chain partners of preference.
This is what long-term political failure looks like and the price is paid in the loss of thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of prosperity to the Scottish economy, starving hope from working class communities in regions of economic deprivation like Fife.
Scotland’s EV charging structure
More than two years later, and one might have expected UK politicians (and especially those in Scotland who seem to be leading the charge to export jobs) to have learned some lessons from all this. Surely, when it comes to the massive task of installing the charging structure for electric vehicles, the Scottish government would have granted the contract to a Scottish company, or at least to one based in the UK? Not a bit of it. On 4th March 2021 the Scottish Government’s websiteiii proudly announced that SWARCO eVolt was taking over the contract “as the back office operator which enables people to access over 1600 publicly available charge points across Scotland.” Amidst the PR hype, they overlooked to mention that this is an Austrian company. And hype it certainly was:
Following a smooth transition, the priority is to continue to improve ChargePlace Scotland’s reputation for reliability and accessibility for electric vehicle drivers across the country. The new contract will bring new jobs to Scotland, improved customer service and better performance information for users and owners and hosts.
It’s quite an irony, then, that the new arrangements seem to have caused chaos, with the Courier reportingiv
Massive problems at a Dundee service centre have wreaked havoc on Scotland’s £45m electric vehicle (EV) charging network.
Oh well, never mind, the report also tells us that
The Austrian-based multinational has already supplied and installed much of Scotland’s charging point infrastructure. The move brought [drum-roll….] 18 high-value jobs into the city.
Two years later
Surely the situation must have improved by 2021? Not a bit of it, as Magnus Linklater, writing in the Timesv, makes clear.
On jobs, for instance, what is the prediction? Once we were told by the SNP there would be 130,000 green jobs by 2020. In fact, as Sir Keir Starmer inconveniently pointed out on his recent trip to Scotland, there are fewer direct jobs in the industry now than in 2014, with less than a fifth of the projected total delivered. Once a wind farm is created it is not a big employer. Even the construction period has limited potential. There is no major UK-based manufacturer of wind turbines, and much of the work is farmed out to cheaper plants in southeast Asia. Most of the big offshore projects are foreign-owned, such as the giant Neart na Gaoithe site off the Fife coast, owned and run by EDF Renewables, a wholly owned subsidiary of a Paris-based group.
It is idle to pretend that jobs lost in the North Sea oil and gas industry will soon be made up by employment in renewables.
What exactly did Sir Keir have to say on the subject during his visit to Scotland? There are numerous reports, but this one from Daily Businessvi is as good as any:
Labour leader Keir Starmer says Britain is failing to build a green economy with more than 75,000 job losses in the sector in the last five years.
Sir Keir accuses the UK government of “broken promises” and the Scottish government of “going backwards”.
During a visit to Scotland he said the Scottish National Party, has broken its pledge to create 130,000 green jobs by 2020.
Figures show progress on green jobs going backwards in Scotland, with fewer direct jobs today than in 2014, making up just a fifth of the green jobs promised by the SNP, he said.
The figures show a loss of 33,800 direct jobs and a further 41,400 jobs in the supply chain for low carbon and renewable sectors between 2014 and 2019. This includes thousands of jobs lost in solar power, onshore wind, renewable electricity and bioenergy, and a huge fall in the number of jobs in the energy efficiency sector.
Slowly the Penny Begins to Drop
On 4th September 2021, an article appeared in the Guardian’s sister paper, the Observer, with the title “Gone with the wind: why UK firms could miss out on the offshore boom”vii
I was unaware of the industry pledge, apparently given in return for taxpayer funding, which does at least help (if honoured), but patently it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough:
“A crucial industry commitment, made in exchange for government subsidy, is the pledge to use UK-made components for at least 60% of every windfarm. While this would be an improvement on the existing trend, which has seen fewer than half of offshore windfarms built using UK parts, some say more needs to be done to build a homegrown supply chain and avoid being left behind in the global renewables race.”
The GMB again has its finger on the pulse, and is well aware of the realities in this area that seem to evade the politicians, green dreamers and environmental campaigners:
The industry is dominated by European energy giants. These big developers, which invest in building the windfarms and reap subsidy payments in return, include Denmark’s Ørsted, Norwegian state energy giant Equinor, and Scottish Power, which is a division of Spanish renewables giant Iberdrola. SSE is one of the few companies with turbines spinning in British waters to have a London Stock Exchange listing.
The companies that make up the supply chain – the makers of blades, foundations and high-voltage cables – are often foreign. In addition to Denmark’s Vestas, UK-based blade manufacturers include Germany’s Siemens and US conglomerate GE.
The GMB trade union has warned that the UK risks squandering a major economic benefit by allowing many of the components of its offshore wind boom to be manufactured in the factories and steel mills of Asia.
The labour required to transform steel into the 8,000 wind turbine foundations needed to meet the UK’s climate targets could create 30,000 jobs for the next 30 years, according to the trade union. It would require 20 million tonnes of steel which, if made in the UK, could itself could support another 8,000 jobs.
“As things stand these steel fabrication jobs are destined to be in Asia, with the only role for UK workers being to pay for them,” says Gary Smith, the GMB’s general secretary. “This is both unnecessary and politically unacceptable.” He adds that steel supply chain companies are “acutely aware of how far the UK lags way behind” other countries in developing the technology and investment the industry needs.
And yet campaigners continue to oppose the proposed Cumbrian coking coal mine, with a concerted attempt being made at this week’s public inquiry by those self-same politicians, green dreamers and environmental campaigners to make sure that not only will 500 coal mining jobs, in an area of deprivation and high unemployment, not be permitted under any circumstances if they have their way, but the related steel-making jobs will all be exported in a lose-lose situation.
The latest debacle
And still we in the UK seem to be incapable of making “green” jobs, or even retaining those we already have, albeit they seemed to exist only with taxpayer subsidies. Today the BBC tells usviii “Campbeltown wind turbine factory closes permanently“.
So, what’s the story here? The turbine factory in Cambeltown on the Kintyre peninsula is the oldest such factory in the UK, but it has a chequered history. The BBC report tells us that it went into administration in 2011, was rescued, then sold to a South Korean company (CS Wind) in 2016. But in 2019 the majority of the staff were made redundant, and now the remainder are following, as the administrators blame “deteriorating market conditions” . As BBC journalist Douglas Fraser observes, however, “market conditions for wind power have never looked better.”
I’ll give the last words on this debacle to Pat Rafferty, Scottish Secretary of the Unite union, who said:
[T]he Scottish government sat back and watched from the sideline as the firm went bust.
“It’s high time they accept that on their watch, for over a decade now, there has been minimal green and low-carbon manufacturing jobs directly created in Scotland,” he said.
I’ve just found some of the green jobs. They’re lurking in another BBC online reportix:
A Glasgow company has been fined £150,000 for making more than half a million nuisance marketing calls.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that DialADeal Scotland Ltd (DDSL) had made the unsolicited calls between August 2019 and March 2020.
They were about non-existent Green Deal energy saving schemes, including boiler and window replacement, loft insulation and home improvement grants.
…”Calls about Green Deal schemes can be a real problem as people often believe they are legitimate but, thanks to the complaints made by the public, we’ve been able to take action.”
Once more, I’ll let Pat Rafferty of the Unite Union in Scotland tell it as it is:
“There is no jobs revolution – it’s a myth.”
We’ll see how that plan turns out, but whatever happens it is likely to make projects more expensive. The National Procurement Policy now states that such things as jobs are to be considered as part of tenders, as opposed to simply taking the lowest price (subject to minimum standards etc).
Of course, new/expanded factories appear to rely on subsidies for construction (or companies just play different jurisdictions off against one another to make the best deal, which amounts to the same thing).
Either way, it seems to escape our leaders that energy is not an end in itself. Productivity comes from how the energy is used. The number of green jobs would rocket if we were all given exercise bikes with dynamos, and think of the co-benefits: generation close to the point of use and improving community fitness levels to name but two. We could make the bikes in the UK, and the steel, etc, etc.
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More today from the Unite union on the collapse of the Campbeltown works:
“A leading union has taken aim at the owners of CS Wind after the company collapsed into administration on Wednesday.”
There are a few choice quotes:
“CS Wind’s demise will do nothing to quell the fears of those that feel workers in the UK are missing out on the benefits of the energy transition.
It comes less than a year after Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) met the same fate after a deal to manufacture jackets for a wind turbine off the coast of Scotland collapsed.
In addition to criticising the owners, Unite has hit out at the Scottish and UK Governments over the “minimal” domestic manufacturing work that has been generated by the “billions of pounds” being invested into renewables.
Pat Rafferty, Unite Scottish Secretary, said: “Unite has repeatedly warned of the disgraceful situation developing at the hands of the South Korean owners who have a track record for taking millions in public funds only to run a factory into the ground.
“The Scottish Government has sat back and watched from the sideline offering absolutely nothing. It’s high time they accept that on their watch, for over a decade now, there has been minimal green and low-carbon manufacturing jobs directly created in Scotland.
“There is no jobs revolution – it’s a myth. The Scottish Government’s projection of nearly 50,000 jobs by 2020 comes crashing against the stark reality that for both the onshore and offshore wind sectors only 3,300 jobs were estimated to have been created by 2019. It’s a pathetic return on the billions of pounds being poured into and around Scotland’s shores. It’s a national scandal.””
Meanwhile, the SNP Government at Holyrood continues to bleat its pathetic platitudes:
“The Scottish Government expressed its frustration that the site had lain idle for “some considerable time”, despite “commitments made” by CS Wind when it took over the facility.
A Holyrood spokeswoman said: “To help tackle the climate crisis and support our just transition to net zero, the Scottish Government is investing in green skills and attracting new green job opportunities, including the establishment of the Green Jobs Workforce Academy.
“In November, Glasgow will host COP26 and Scotland can be proud that our climate change ambitions, backed by investment in creating a highly skilled green workforce, will be showcased on an international stage.
“The manufacturing facility at Machrihanish is a major asset to the Kintyre area and one that should be fully active and providing valuable local employment. Sadly it has been idle for some considerable time now, in spite of commitments made by CS Wind when they took over the lease. As owners of the site Highlands & Islands Enterprise are a listed creditor of CS Wind in the administration process and they will work closely with the administrators.””
Presumably all “green” work is put out to competitive bidding and Scottish (or U.K.) contractors are then unsuccessful in the bidding process, losing out to foreign competitors. The “green” jobs may be there, but they have gone overseas. If the jobs are to be retained in the U.K. then energy costs will become even higher and numerous international laws will be broken. What are the unions plans to retain jobs in Scotland?
Green jobs are available …. 😉
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Alan, of course there is something in what you say, but there are also problems with it. My article was about pointing out that the oft-repeated claims regarding the “green” jobs bonanza the UK is supposed to enjoy, are close to fantasy.
Secondly, although if contracts were given to more expensive UK companies employing UK residents and citizens, than to foreigners, costs might go up, but so might wages, and unemployment would go down, while the significant drag on the economy caused by the multiplier effect of funds leaving the country, would be avoided.
Finally, I’m not sure about the “numerous international laws” you think would be broken if contracts aren’t awarded to those offering the cheapest tender. One of the supposed benefits of leaving the EU was that the UK would then no longer have to be subject to the compulsory competitive tendering process that is enshrined in EU law. Of course the government might have compromised on that aim by giving something away when they negotiated the withdrawal and subsequent trade agreement with the EU – I confess I don’t know. I’m not sure any other international treaties or laws would be broken in that scenario: I could easily be wrong, but I don’t think the UK’s membership of the WTO precludes such behaviour.
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@Mark – from your comment above –
“A Holyrood spokeswoman said: “To help tackle the climate crisis and support our just transition to net zero, the Scottish Government is investing in green skills and attracting new green job opportunities, including the establishment of the Green Jobs Workforce Academy.”
wonder what she means by “our just transition to net zero” ?
Green Jobs Workforce Academy – what is it I wonder – “However Labour MSP Monica Lennon said the Academy was merely “a website sign-posting people to job adverts and various courses”
these people just spout the party line, with no thought involved (as the green jobs figures testify) & they never seem to have to justify this BS to the taxpayers
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dfhunter – very interesting. Reference to the Green Jobs Workforce Academy can be found here:
It looks as though Labour MSP Monica Lennon is correct:
“The new Green Jobs Workforce Academy, delivered by Skills Development Scotland, will help people take a greener approach to their careers, from accessing training and learning new skills, to finding a new green job.
This 100 days commitment of the new Scottish Government has been launched as the First Minister welcomed news that ScottishPower were creating 152 new green jobs, of which 135 will be based in Scotland.
These new roles will be listed on the academy’s website alongside information on the types of jobs emerging in sectors crucial to Scotland’s transition to a net-zero economy, such as renewable energy, construction and transport. ”
The Great Leader is quoted as saying:
““To help tackle climate change Scotland is already investing in green skills and attracting new green job opportunities. It is great to see ScottishPower creating 135 new green jobs in Scotland and I would encourage other employers to follow their lead. The Academy’s career advisors stand ready to support individuals interested in these jobs access the right training to help their career progress.”
Looks like an advertising puff piece, and not a lot else (though no doubt it will cost the taxpayer a slug of money).
dfhunter, as for the “just transition to net zero” I imagine not many people are aware of the Scottish Government’s “Climate Justice Fund”:
“Climate justice recognises that the poor and vulnerable at home and overseas are the first to be affected by climate change, and will suffer the worst, yet have done little or nothing to cause the problem.”
It’s interesting that it refers to the vulnerable at home and overseas, and yet, despite the recent efforts of the BBC and the Guardian to persuade us that Glasgow’s poor’s big problem is climate change, they don’t seem to have spent any of the Climate Justice Fund at home (unless you count the £2M given to the University of Strathclyde, but then that was for a project in Malawi, and I don’t think the University of Strathclyde can be regarded as “vulnerable”). In fact, most of the money seems to have gone to Malawi – does someone high-up in the SNP have a holiday home there, or something? I’m sure those climate change-threatened Glasgow east enders with some of the lowest life expectancies in Europe are delighted.
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“The ‘myth’ of Scotland’s green jobs revolution as key wind tower firm CS Wind goes bust”
The article is a re-hash of what I’ve posted above, but I think it bears repetition. Harsh reality meets spin (pardon the pun).
“However Labour MSP Monica Lennon said the Academy was merely ‘a website sign-posting people to job adverts and various courses'”.
Indeed. Scotlands’s Green Jobs Workforce Academy is mostly just a way of doing a very crude search of an existing government-run job listing website. The Academy’s official URL, greenjobs.scot, diverts to a very simple page at My World of Work, which is run by Skills Development Scotland. If you click on ‘Jobs and courses’ on that page, you are taken to an equally simple page…
… that gives you the option to ‘Use our job search’.
Click on that and you search the entire My World of Work jobs list with the following keywords: energy efficiency, sustainable, hybrid, carbon, electric, renewables, environment, climate, circular economy.
Unsurprisingly, that search finds some jobs that aren’t at all green. For example, is driving an HGV for a poultry feed manufacturer a green job? Er, no. It’s offered as a green job solely because its description includes the word ‘environment’.
(Other job descriptions are so impenetrable that it’s impossible to tell whether or not they are green. They are utter bafflegab. But that’s what you’ll find when your search terms play buzzword bingo, innit.)
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Incidentally, a lot of the jobs are said to be ‘full time (35 hours)’. Is Scotland part of France now?
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The TUC seems to be operating on a different planet to its more realistic Scottish counterparts:
“TUC: Jobs at risk if UK fails to hit carbon emissions target”
“Up to 660,000 jobs could be at risk if the UK fails to reach its net-zero target as quickly as other nations, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has warned.
The government has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035.
But the TUC fears many jobs could be moved offshore to countries offering superior green infrastructure and support for decarbonisation.
The union body is calling for an £85bn green recovery package to create 1.2 million green jobs.”
Meanwhile, in the real world:
“Steel jobs could be at risk if industry comes under pressure this winter from soaring energy bills, sector’s trade association warns”
“Steel jobs could be at risk if the industry comes under pressure this winter from soaring energy bills, the sector’s trade association warned.
Gas prices in the UK and Europe have hit a series of record highs in the last few weeks and experts have said a cold winter could push them up further.
UK Steel has warned this would be ‘extremely damaging’ to companies of all sizes in the beleaguered sector, which has faced a series of crises over the last few years.
Gas prices have surged because of lower supplies from Russia, which has affected the amount being stored in Europe, and tough competition for liquefied natural gas imports.
Gareth Stace, director general of UK Steel, said: ‘Continued energy price spikes would be extremely damaging for the sector. Already we are facing electricity prices almost double those of our European competitors and these price increases only widen that chasm.’
Steel companies have for years asked the Government to cut energy bills for heavy industry, which they say is holding back investment.
UK producers pay 86 per cent more for power than their counterparts in Germany and 62 per cent more than France. “
“UK producers pay 86 per cent more for power than their counterparts in Germany and 62 per cent more than France“
this is madness !!!
dfhunter, yes it is madness, and it’s Government policy. Worse still, all the opposition parties say it doesn’t go far enough!
Agreed Mark – found this related post – https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2021/09/09/does-aep-want-to-shut-the-uk-steel-industry-down/
ahh – see you commented on above link, so not new to you.
found this comment at the link interesting/worthy to repost here –
“CheshireRed September 10, 2021 9:04 am
Wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that the UK government has secretly decided to shut down UK steel manufacturing?
Here’s their rationale: global steel prices are on the floor. UK production prices are uncompetitive with China, with no prospect of ever being more competitive, either.
UK can thus source globally at lowest cost with no supply issues.
Steel is high emissions but relatively low numbers of employees. By offshoring energy-intensive steel UK makes large reductions in carbon emissions at a very low per-job cost.
They know their green transition will come with job losses in some areas, offset by gains in others. Just as they’ve sacked off thousands of coal mining jobs as a result of ditching coal, so too they’ve chosen to wave goodbye to steel industry jobs.
The Cumbria coal mine fiasco is another example. UK can’t miss 500 jobs we never had, so government have no problem blocking those jobs to prevent emissions from being allocated to UK total. Supply remains unaffected as can come from Australia, US or even Russia!
They can’t publicly admit these policies and may even have entered into a political code of Omerta with the Opposition, who’re all onside for the green thing. Hence Labour et al seldom question these matters at PMQ’s and so on.
This follows a similar pathway regarding high-emitting UK aluminum and cement manufacturing. That’s how I see it.”
just reread your BBC TUC link and noted this bit –
“TUC research from June shows the UK is currently ranked second last among G7 economies for its investment in green infrastructure and jobs.
However, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) says the TUC’s claims are untrue and that it does not recognise their methodology.”
can’t see any links to data or the “BBC fact check team” at work to enlighten readers (BEEB seem to take any Union’s word for thing’s lately)
dfhunter, as regards the TUC, it gets worse:
“UK must prepare for more economic shocks, says TUC”
“The UK needs to be better prepared for future economic shocks, says the TUC.
“Covid is not going to be a one-off,” the union federation’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady, will tell its annual congress later on Monday.
“Climate chaos is here already and the longer we put off getting to net zero, the more disruptive it will be,” she will add.”
It doesn’t seem to occur to her that the climate has no impact on UK jobs; the UK’s drive to net zero, without the rest of the world joining in (and possibly not even then) will make absolutely no difference whatsoever to her imaginary “climate chaos”; but that it is destroying UK jobs (the jobs of her members) at a rate of knots, and the “green” replacements aren’t forthcoming, in the UK economy at least.
As an erstwhile leftie and ex-Labour Party member (resigned in disgust years ago), I struggle to understand what on earth is going on among those who claim to be on the left of UK politics, who seem to be brainwashed into seeing the world through a looking glass, and in many ways doing the work of politicians on the right for them.
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“Climate change: Hydrogen to create jobs – but is it green enough?”
The heading might well have been “will there really be any jobs?” as the last paragraph makes clear:
“…Wales should learn lessons from the development of wind energy and try to “keep as many of the long-term jobs as possible in Wales and keep wealth and tax in the country too”.”
Which sounds like implicit acceptance of the fact that the development of wind energy has not created long-term jobs and hasn’t kept wealth and tax in the country.
“Green jobs: The new generation of workers making it work for them”
“From running huge wind farms out at sea to making new devices to heat our homes, the UK is seeing a rise in interest in so-called green jobs.
What counts as a green job? The simplest answer is that it directly contributes to tackling climate change, although many think it should also cover roles that indirectly support that ambition.
Either way, the UK government wants to create more of them, going from 410,000 now to two million of these jobs by 2030, as part of its plans for an economy with zero fossil fuel emissions.
It’s not a plan without risks, but some areas will provide opportunities to many. Here are three jobs in sectors that are growing – and what it’s like to do them.
Heating without emissions
…In Livingston, near Edinburgh, the Mitsubishi Electric factory is making one alternative: air-source heat pumps, which draw warmth from the air to heat your home and water, without releasing any carbon in the process….
…And it’s also sustainable for people installing heat pumps: in 2019 there were 900 – by 2028 there are expected to be 15,000.
…Visiting 21-year-old Beth Campbell at work in Scunthorpe is like stepping into a world from science fiction.
She works as a research assistant for Jones Food Company, which is the largest vertical farm in Europe. There she checks thousands of basil plants growing on huge trays stacked above each other, all bathed in a gentle purple light and fed a carefully controlled supply of nutrients….
…Fixing wind turbines at sea
Forests of wind turbines are springing up in the waters around the UK and that’s led to a boom in offshore building and maintenance….”
And that’s it. “Green” jobs in making the heating of our homes more expensive and less efficient; “green” jobs growing basil plants; “green” jobs” in connection with an environmentally unfriendly industry making our energy more expensive, more unreliable and less predictable, while de-stabilising the National Grid. Forgive me for remaining unimpressed.
When one version of a story just isn’t enough:
“Green jobs: The UK’s future zero carbon industries”
“The UK’s transition to zero carbon will be a key issue in the upcoming COP26 climate talks in Glasgow.
It will mean the formation of new industries and jobs which didn’t exist a generation ago.
Beth Campbell, 21, is a research assistant at a vertical farm in Scunthorpe which uses renewable energy to grow crops which are then sold locally.
Bridie Salmon, 23, used to work in hospitality but is now retraining as an apprentice offshore wind turbine technician.
The BBC’s Science Editor David Shukman went to meet them.”
“Plans to allow oil and gas workers to transfer to renewable energy jobs”
“GOVERNMENT officials are drawing up plans to allow oil and gas workers to transfer to renewable energy jobs without having to fork out costly retraining costs – currently acting as a barrier to Scotland’s renewables revolution.
The SNP-Greens government has pledged to set out plans for a ‘just transition’ for oil and gas workers into renewables – but has faced criticism for a failure to bring forward 130,000 green jobs as promised….
…Currently, workers wishing to transfer from fossil fuel jobs into renewables are having to pay thousands of pounds to obtain qualifications no different to training they have already undertaken….”.
“We tried to transition to green jobs, but the bosses are closing our car factory down
Though we don’t want to go on strike, we can’t stand by and watch the British car industry fall victim to offshoring”
“More than 500 workers, myself included, at the GKN Automotive factory in Birmingham have voted for strike action to save both our plant and British manufacturing. It’s the last thing we ever wanted to do, but we feel we have been left with no choice.
Currently, we manufacture and assemble components for drivelines, the all-important section underneath your car for transferring power from the engine and transmission to the wheels. In 2019, 90% of GKN’s components went into traditional combustion engines, but that may halve by 2025, with electric vehicles (EVs) taking 15% of components, and hybrids about 40%. The move to electric will only continue, as UK factories unveil their new vehicle plans before purely internal combustion engines are banned in 2030.
In order to future-proof our jobs and the British automotive industry, we need to transition to producing components for EVs, including new propulsion systems and e-drives. GKN has developed a new e-drive with UK government funding at its Oxfordshire research facility, but sadly we won’t see this innovation creating new green jobs for British workers. Melrose, the owners of GKN, have decided to close our plant in 2022 and move jobs overseas….
…Every automotive company in the world is gearing up for the transition. The future can’t be built on outsourced or offshored jobs, where workers in different countries are pitted against each other in a race to the bottom.
If we all want to see British manufacturing transition to new environmentally friendly technologies so that there are employment opportunities in the future, we need to retain jobs and skills like ours to make that happen. Support us. We’re fighting for your future too.”
I’m prepared to concede the reality of “green” jobs if they actually exist. This is one to watch – is it just so much hot air or might some permanent jobs be created?
“Plan to revive Ardersier port for offshore turbine work”
“A French renewable energy developer has proposed building parts for floating wind turbines at a former oil and gas fabrication yard in the Highlands.
BW Ideol plans to manufacture platforms called concrete floaters at Ardersier port on the Moray Firth coast.
Ardersier is largest brownfield port in the UK, with 400 acres (162ha) of formerly developed and now disused land and a quay more than a mile long.
Rigs and other offshore structures were built at the former McDermott Yard.
At its height, the yard employed about 4,500 people – but it closed in 2001 as demand dropped.
BW Ideol has signed an agreement with Ardersier Port Authority giving it long-term access to the port for the manufacture of the offshore turbine platforms.
Dredging work in the sea at the site is expected to start next month….”.
The BBC also reported on these plans in January 2019, so they seem to be taking a long time to become a reality. My guess is that government money will be required to make it happen.
quote: “It would require 20 million tonnes of steel which, if made in the UK, could itself could support another 8,000 jobs.”
It was pointed out to me recently by a friend (*) (and to my surprise, and shame that I did not know), that steel production still depends on coal. There are other ways of doing it, and of course research is always ongoing, but apparently, they don’t scale up very well.
(*) who is as sceptical as I am about EVs, wind-farms & solar farms, but in other respects is on board with the CO2/AGW story )
Quote” Can the world produce steel without using coal? The short answer to this question is no, not at scale, at the present time. ”
Quote: “Now, nearly all new steel globally is produced using iron oxide and coking coal. Coking coal is usually bituminous-rank coal with special qualities that are needed in the blast furnace.
While an increasing amount of steel is being recycled, there is currently no technology to make steel at scale without using coal.”
Well, apparently it won’t always be like this:
Quote: “By substituting hydrogen and zero-carbon electricity for coking coal and other fossil fuels traditionally used to make steel, the firm says it could have the first fossil-free steel on the market by 2026, even if commercial production wouldn’t come until later. …”
So, hydrogen and zero-carbon electricity needed. What could possibly go wrong? Well, we have until 2026 to find out. Or “until later”.
Do Johnson & Keir Starmer et al know about this? Do the IPCC?
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“Bristol’s climate debates lack diverse voices, study finds”
“A study has said there is a “worrying lack of diversity” in city-wide debates and decisions made over climate change.
The University of Bristol spent one year focussing on the work of six climate change bodies, both public and private sector, in the city.
Researcher Dr Alix Dietzel said: “From what we know from global negotiations, which is what I studied prior to this research, this is quite common.”
The mayor of Bristol, Labour’s Marvin Rees, has welcomed the report findings.
“Certain voices dominate the discussion and it tends to be the most privileged in society and obviously in our case that would be white men,” Dr Dietzel added.
The six bodies reviewed were:
Bristol One City Board (public sector)
Bristol Advisory Committee on Climate Change (public sector)
Sustrans (private sector)
Bristol Energy (private sector)
Black and Green Ambassadors (civil society)
Fossil Free Bristol (civil society)”
Perhaps being a white man I don’t worry about the findings as much as I should. I recognise that there may be issues around diversity, but to me the big story here is that there are six bodies – SIX! – in Bristol alone! – focussed on climate change. What on earth do they all do? What – if anything – do they achieve? What do they all cost? Are these the “green jobs” we’re always being told about?
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“Climate change: Welsh industry’s 23 million tonne carbon problem”
“”Genuine courage” is needed to tackle climate change in Wales, which produces a fifth of the UK’s industrial emissions, an economist has said.
Thousands of Welsh jobs rely on Tata’s steelworks in Port Talbot and RWE’s gas power station in Pembrokeshire, the UK’s top two emitters.
Prof Calvin Jones said it was “good news” that a big difference can be made from a small number of industries.
But he said people should accept not every industry will survive.”
Well, that’s good news! I think, rather than genuine courage, he means genuine stupidity. This plan will destroy much of what’s left of UK industry, forcing us to import stuff from the other side of the world, and will not make a jot of difference to global CO2 emissions, as a consequence. In the meantime, people will be put out of work.
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“Foreign investment deals to create 30,000 UK jobs, says government”
“Foreign investment deals in low-carbon sectors in the UK to be announced on Tuesday will create about 30,000 jobs, the government has said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce 18 new deals worth £9.7bn as he opens a global investment summit.
They include investments in sectors such as wind and hydrogen energy, sustainable homes and carbon capture.
The prime minister said investors had recognised “the massive potential in the UK for growth and innovation”.
Investments from companies such as Spanish energy firm Iberdrola, logistics firm Prologis and grocery service Getir would power the UK’s economic recovery and help to achieve the government’s levelling up agenda, he added.”
More like investors have recognised the massive taxpayer-funded subsidies on offer in the UK. BY the way, those numbers work out at £323,333.33 per job.
“Want to know what a just transition to a green economy looks like? Ask the workers
People don’t need catchprases: they need resources and empowerment so they can secure good green jobs
Anna Markova is the Trades Union Congress’s co-lead on climate and industrial policy”
“If you really want to know what a just transition looks like, don’t start with the official speeches of Cop26. Ideally, don’t even ask me. Ask those who need it most.
Ask a teenager in south Wales, where coal mining jobs have not been replaced by alternatives and unemployment levels are among the highest in the UK. Ask the oil rig worker who has been travelling to work by helicopter for 15 years but is having to pay £2,000 for yet another helicopter safety training course to be able to work on a wind turbine. Ask the Eurostar driver who does not know if the train she drives will still be running in two months’ time. Ask, if you can, one of the Uyghur people forced by Chinese authorities to work in a labour camp to make polysilicone for solar panels.
They can tell you about an unjust transition – the opposite of how we want to change our lifestyles and economies to meet net zero. Just transition mustn’t become a global policy-speak catchphrase, reduced to the intersection between environmental and social concerns, or vague promises of skills training. A real just transition makes sure people don’t lose out as their lives and livelihoods are transformed by climate action. Like the up to 600,000 workers in UK manufacturing and supply chains, whose future employment relies on government and industry investing to retool and decarbonise.”
Wow, I thought. Some honesty around this debate at last, and from someone whose members are at the sharp end of the “transition” too. But read on:
“So what do they need from the rest of us? First: resources. To give the at-risk jobs of today a future, governments must invest to build the pioneering zero-carbon steel plants, the fabrication yards and ports, and the domestic supply chains that the industries of tomorrow need. The TUC has called for £85bn of green infrastructure investment over the next two years. And where public funding takes the first step, private capital will follow.
Governments must invest, too, in the public sector. They must give more resources to local councils to insulate homes in their area and support the NHS’s net zero plan. And they need to invest worldwide: industrialised countries are well behind on their $100bn climate finance pledge to the global south.
Second: a say over how the transition happens. The postie knows what they need from the delivery rotas of the future. The oil worker knows what training he requires. The coalminer knows what she wants to do when the mine closes. This knowledge should shape the transition. Each workplace needs a formal agreement negotiated between unions and employers about the nature and pace of change – and a plan for how good jobs will be protected. This needs to be supported with commissions both locally and nationally, where unions, employers and governments listen to each other and devise a common plan for their industries and areas. The lack of planning and coordination in the UK is a key reason why we’re lurching from one crisis to the next today.
Third: the removal of barriers. No worker should see their income plummet or have to pay to retrain if their workplace shuts down. And no worker should be barred from the jobs of the future, whether by biased recruitment practices, lack of support for parents or for disabled people, or by institutional racism.
Fourth and finally: job quality. Green jobs must be great jobs. If a job involves back-breaking work and pays badly, if the work is unreliable or on a precarious contract, if the employer doesn’t recognise unions and if employees have to pay for their own training, then no wonder workers aren’t lining up to switch careers.
Any job can be a good job. If we want workers to move from high carbon jobs to net zero jobs, climate movements must help unions fight for decent pay, terms and conditions. When these four challenges are met – enough resources, workers’ voices listened to, barriers brought down, every green job a good job – climate action will be made with people, not done to them.”
And so we’re back to the usual point where all this breaks down. #MagicMoneyTree.
“Steel will be vital to the green revolution, but our industry needs help to change”
“…Today, high energy costs are making it hard for the industry and are counterproductive as all of the viable low carbon solutions to steelmaking require more electricity than we use today. Therefore, the government also needs to do something about electricity prices, to ensure that in circumstances where it’s the right move to use electric arc technology or any other technology, it is a sustainable business model.
Looking ahead, a lot of people think that hydrogen steelmaking will be the future. But for that to become a reality requires government investment to ensure that the infrastructure is there. It seems to be a question of who will make the first move. Will companies commit to a hydrogen transition, or will the government commit to delivering the infrastructure that they can plug into?…
…On a more personal level, we saw what happened to the steelworkers in Redcar when industrial change is not managed properly. Thousands of jobs gone, entire communities without work, knock-on effects felt by generations.
I’ve seen first-hand the impact of industries lost. Communities like Aberfan, Merthyr Vale or Ebbw Vale, just three miles from where I lived, were destroyed by crude industrial policies, and left ill-equipped to handle the transition away from coal. As a child I remember going with my mother to collect food for the striking miners. I did it once, I don’t want to do it again. We need a greener steel industry, a just transition, and we’ve no time to waste.
Jacqueline Thomas has been a full-time member of the steel industry since 2005. She lives just outside Ebbw Vale, whose steelworks closed in 2002.”
“COP26: South Africa hails deal to end reliance on coal”
“South Africa is set to receive $8.5bn (£6.2bn) to help end its reliance on coal in a deal announced at the COP26 climate summit.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has called it a “watershed moment”.
The country is currently a major emitter of greenhouse gases as a result of its addiction to coal, which it uses to generate electricity.
This deal, funded by wealthier nations, could have both global and local implications.
The vast scale of the coal operation run by the country’s state power company Eskom makes South Africa the 12th biggest carbon dioxide emitter in the world, according to the Global Carbon Atlas.
Some of those at the heart of South Africa’s coal country hope that the latest deal could ease the environmental and health impacts of the power sector.”
Sounds great, but read on:
“The mines in Mpumalanga may cause environmental problems but they provide vital jobs.
‘What about our jobs?’
The metal workers’ union cites research saying that 100,000 jobs in mining and the associated industries could be at stake.
“No social plans, as far as we know, have been developed to assist all those communities who are going to be affected by that,” National Union of Metal Workers spokesman Phakamile Hlubi told the BBC.
“If you’re not going to replace those jobs with something, you’re going to turn that entire province into a ghost town.”
This sentiment may have been at the heart of what was before COP26 seen as a slow approach taken by some in government.
Mining Minister Gwede Mantashe favoured a gradual change, urging people not to be “emotional” about demanding transition.
But now the 2050 deadline to close most of the country’s coal plants can be brought forward.”
They’d better hope some of that money is spent on green jobs, whatever they might be.
If these people get their way, they’re going to need an awful lot of “green” jobs to replace the ones they’re determined to phase out:
“Climate change: Welsh ministers demand scrapping of mining licence”
“The Welsh government has called for the mining licence for Aberpergwm colliery, near Glynneath, to be cancelled.
Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters said he had urged the UK government to stop “40 million tonnes of coal” being extracted “from Welsh soil” over the next 18 years.
Welsh ministers have a “clear policy of stopping using fossil fuels”, he said.
But the mine operator says it supplies niche industries like water filtration and steel production.
It says it provides 160 well paid jobs in the Vale of Neath area, plus 16 apprenticeships.”
It’s quite something, isn’t it, when a government demands action to render some of its own people unemployed.
Then there’s this:
“Scrap Scottish salmon farms – Chris Packham” – at 17.53 today on the BBC at:
“Chris Packham, the environmental campaigner and presenter of the BBC’s Springwatch series, has visited COP26 and says the host country should “get rid of highly polluting, nasty salmon farms”.
The industry is said to be worth more than £1bn a year to the economy, with hundreds of thousands of fish raised in pens suspended in the open sea lochs around Scotland’s west coast and the Northern Isles.”
What with all the workers to be thrown on the scrap heap, and the all the damage to be done to the economy, and all the costs of net zero, boy do we need a lot of well-paid and useful green jobs.
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“Scotland’s papers: What next for Scotland’s oil and care crisis fears”
“As COP26 comes towards an end in Glasgow, some of Scotland’s newspapers look at the future of Scotland’s oil and gas industry. The Scottish Daily Express reports that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been holding talks with groups dedicated to phasing out fossil fuels. It says confusion over government policy has “left thousands of jobs in the balance”.”
“Blow to UK battery industry hopes as Johnson Matthey halts research
British chemical giant to exit sector saying it is lagging too far behind rivals already making batteries at scale”
“Britain’s hopes to grab a slice of the fast-growing market for electric vehicle batteries have been dealt a blow after one of the UK’s biggest chemicals companies said it would give up on developing the technology.
Johnson Matthey, a member of the FTSE 100, announced plans on Thursday to exit the battery materials business because it is too far behind rivals who are already making batteries at gigantic scale.
The shares plunged 17% on Thursday to their lowest level since December, wiping more than £900m off the company’s market value as it also announced that the chief executive would step aside.
To add to its difficulties, supply chain shortages hitting the automotive industry mean that profits will be at the lower end of expectations.
Johnson Matthey makes most of its money from producing catalytic converters to clean exhaust emissions from petrol and diesel cars. However, impending bans on internal combustion engines in the UK and around the world have forced the company and many other suppliers to find new ways of making money.
Developing lithium-ion batteries with carefully fine-tuned chemistries seemed an obvious choice, and the company had been on track to start building a new factory in Finland to build as many as 300,000 automotive batteries a year.
It could now be forced to write down £340m in assets in that business, which employs 430 people. It will attempt to sell all or parts of the unit, although it noted it had found the required investments too expensive to compete with rivals.”
“Johnson Matthey makes most of its money from producing catalytic converters to clean exhaust emissions from petrol and diesel cars”
sorry “Johnson Matthey” you & your workforce just have to go. save the planet comes first.
“More work needed to create green jobs, report says”
“Efforts to create so-called green jobs need to intensify if the UK government is to achieve its target of two million roles by 2030, according to a report.
Jobs linked to the green economy accounted for 1.2% of all advertised roles in the year to July 2021, consultancy PwC said.
That equates to just 124,600 new jobs.
Boosting green job creation is part of the government’s “green industrial revolution” plans.
In November 2020, the government announced £4bn would be spent on creating up to 250,000 new green jobs as part of its plan to hit net zero emissions by 2050.
The COP 26 summit held in Glasgow a year later has put the issue into sharp focus again.
But there are concerns that the green jobs transition could pose some risks, as it will impact on traditional jobs, especially in polluting industries.
In September, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) warned up to 660,000 jobs could be at risk if the UK fails to reach its net-zero target as quickly as other nations.
PwC’s report said work was needed to ensure the move to a net-zero economy does not add to regional inequalities.”
Just 124,600 new jobs so far, while 660,000 are at risk (and Cumbria can’t have a coal mine). I loved the phrase “linked to the green economy” too. I wonder how hard they had to work to massage the figure up to 124,600 new green jobs? And I’d love to know what those jobs are and how much they’ve cost the taxpayer to date.
“In its research, PwC said jobs that support the green economy indirectly should also be considered green.
Such roles might include environmental advisors or experts in environmental or sustainability research and education.”
“Cambo: Jobs warning as Shell pulls out of oil field development”
“Business leaders have warned that thousands of oil and gas jobs could be at risk in the UK after Shell pulled out of the Cambo oil field development.
Aberdeen’s Chamber of Commerce said a “premature” end to domestic production could see some areas suffer the fate of mining communities in the 1980s.
Environmentalists say new fossil fuel projects like Cambo are incompatible with action on climate change….
…Siccar Point Energy is currently awaiting approval from the UK government to develop the field.
Chief executive Jonathan Roger said other countries including Norway were investing in new oil and gas alongside renewables as part of a transition to sustainable energy.
He added: “The UK is at risk of damaging its economy and increasing imports with a higher carbon impact if new developments are not brought forward during this time.”
Shell, which has faced widespread criticism over its 30% stake in Cambo, said it now believed the economic case for investment was “not strong enough”.
Greenpeace welcomed the announcement, describing it as the “death blow” for the plans.
But industry body Oil and Gas UK insisted developments such as Cambo were still needed.”
Meanwhile, in La-La Land:
“The Guardian view on North Sea oil: keep it in the ground
Britain won’t convince anyone else to ditch fossil fuels when it won’t do so itself”
Because relying exclusively on renewables and electricity for everything looks like a real winner a week after Storm Arwen hit, doesn’t it?
This blog suggests that the Cambo field would not be profitable for Shell unless the oil price was consistently above ~$100
Bill, an interesting blog – thanks for providing the link.
I have no idea whether or not it’s correct, but having re-visited the BBC report, I note that one thing it doesn’t address is the economic viability (or otherwise) of the Cambo oil field, which is a rather large lacuna in an article which purports to be all about it.
“Teesworks wind turbine plant deal delayed, company says”
“A deal to make wind turbine blades on Teesside has been delayed but the area’s mayor says talks are now “progressing at pace”.
US company GE Renewable Energy announced it would build 350ft (107m)-long turbine blades at the Teesworks site in March.
The turbine factory was touted to supply the enormous Dogger Bank wind farm, off Teesside’s coast.
Tees Mayor Ben Houchen said political opponents were “spreading rumours”.
He said: “I can confirm that GE are completely committed to coming to Teesside and we continue to work with them to finalise legal agreements and factory building specifications.
“Preparation of the site is almost ready and construction of the factory will start early next year,” he added.
But a spokesperson for GE told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “GE Renewable Energy’s LM Wind Power business is currently facing delays in the finalisation of the leasing agreement and design to open its new blade manufacturing plant in Teesside, England….
…In March the company said it hoped to start production making wind turbine blades for the UK offshore wind market at the Teesworks site in 2023.
It said the plant could create 750 direct renewable energy jobs and about 1,500 indirect jobs.
Reports of snags first emerged in Renewable Energy News over claims GE was putting plans on ice due to concerns about Siemens winning key wind farm contracts….”
No jobs yet, then.
“Electric buses should be made in Wales not imported, says minister”
“Electric buses should be made in Wales instead of being imported from China, Wales’ deputy minister for climate change has said.
Lee Waters wants to see an electric bus factory opened in Wales to create green jobs.
But one UK manufacturer said it had approached the Welsh government to build a factory and had received “no traction”.
Recently Newport and Cardiff bus companies have bought Chinese vehicles.”
Er, why not build the factory, make the product, and try to sell it? What has the government to do with things?
“Ovo expected to make a quarter of staff redundant due to energy crisis
UK energy supplier trying to control costs by cutting 1,700 jobs as gas market price soars to all-time high”
“Ovo Energy is moving to cut a quarter of its entire workforce in an attempt to cut costs amid the growing industry crisis.
The UK’s third-biggest supplier of gas and electricity is expected to announce the loss of 1,700 roles out of 6,200 as part of a voluntary redundancy scheme as soon as Thursday.”
Net zero Britain – destroying jobs.
“Ovo Energy set to close Perth office in UK job cuts plan”
“Ovo Energy’s Perth office is set to close after the gas and electricity provider told UK staff it planned to cut a quarter of its workforce.
Staff have been told that 1,700 employees across the UK will lose their jobs through voluntary redundancy.
It is understood that about 700 people work in the Perth office.
Two bases in Edinburgh and one in Cumbernauld will also close as it reduces its UK offices from 10 to three.”
Where have all the green jobs gone?
Oh, is this them?
“The job cuts are understood to be linked to the company’s acquisition of SSE three years ago and the integration of the firm into Ovo.
Ovo said it would also create a new “Ovo Academy” in Glasgow which would create “new opportunities in the city that hosted COP26 for those who want to be at the forefront of the UK’s green revolution.”
About 1,000 call centre staff will be trained to become zero-carbon living advisers, with specialist knowledge of green home products and technologies from tariffs, to making homes more energy efficient.”
“Brussels sets its sights on British wind power
EU demands access to UK wind farm contracts as figures show that wind energy has fallen to four-year low”
“…Fife-based Burntisland Fabrications, collapsed a few years later in December 2020. Work it was hoping to get for offshore wind farms was awarded to firms abroad.
Its demise fuelled mounting anger that the economic rewards from the UK’s rapid growth in offshore wind farms were not being felt domestically, as jobs and cash instead went abroad, including to China and the UAE.
Efforts since made to try and reverse that situation and protect UK jobs now face a challenge from abroad. The European Commission is examining whether Britain is unfairly prioritising local firms and, reported the Sun, is on the brink of filing a challenge with the World Trade Organisation.
That could test the balance ministers appear to be trying to strike: pushing wind farm developers towards hiring local companies and talking up their prospects, yet not putting legal requirements in place that would risk falling foul of fair trade rules.
It comes amid mounting concern about how certain workers will fare in the shift towards greener energy. In particular, whether thousands of workers in the oil and gas industry will find a new home in the growing offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon capture sectors as the UK shifts away from fossil fuels.
Unions are watching closely. “If the UK doesn’t secure the tens of thousands of green manufacturing jobs needed to develop the next generation of offshore wind, then it won’t be the fault of the EU, it will be the fault of the UK Government,” says Gary Smith, general secretary of the GMB Union.
“Ministers know this, so rather than bleating about what competitors may or may not do, they need to get our own house in order so we can start onshoring the jobs from our renewables sector that have been offshored to the rest of the world over the last decade.
“Bluntly, the credibility of the government’s ‘levelling-up’ and ‘green industrial revolution’ agendas depend on this.”….”.
Apart from the lack of green jobs, there’s also the damage to energy-intensive jobs to think about:
“Thousands of Liberty Steel jobs at risk in England as HMRC files winding-up order
Unions condemn move as ‘devastating blow’ saying plants must remain open”
“As many as 3,000 workers in five of Sanjeev Gupta’s Liberty Steel plants across England face losing their jobs after HM Revenue and Customs filed petitions to wind up their operating companies over unpaid taxes.
Gupta’s GFG Alliance metals empire could be at risk if four Liberty companies fail to reach an agreement with HMRC and other creditors, after a year of struggles after the collapse of Greensill Capital, its main lender.
Unions condemned the move as a devastating blow, saying the plants must be kept open because of Liberty’s strategic importance to the UK economy.
The four companies under threat are:
Speciality Steel UK, which employs close to 2,000 people at Rotherham and Stocksbridge in South Yorkshire.
Liberty Merchant Bar at Scunthorpe in North Lincolnshire.
Liberty Performance Steels Ltd at West Bromwich in the West Midlands.
Liberty Pipes at Hartlepool in County Durham….
…Nevertheless, the pressures on Gupta’s companies have been compounded by energy prices, which have surged at an unprecedented rate in recent months. Energy costs have meant the plants are operating at less-than-full capacity despite global high prices for steel, according to a source briefed on the operations.
A Liberty Steel spokesperson highlighted “a very challenging backdrop in the UK with record high energy prices”….”.
I try to be fair and balanced, more so than the BBC or the Guardian, I like to think. In fairness, therefore, these do look like a disappointingly small number of the much-vaunted green jobs, but anything is better than nothing, and in an area that really needs them too. It’s a shame that it’s not a UK company, but a South Korean one, that’s doing the business. Let’s hope that Teesside isn’t left high and dry as others have been by Korean companies in Scotland, once the grants ran out. Anyway, here’s the story:
“Teesside wind power investment deal creates 750 jobs”
“A factory to make the foundations for off-shore wind turbines will be built on Teesside creating 750 jobs.
SeAH Wind will produce 150 steel monopiles a year when it fully opens in 2026, the South Korean company said.
It had announced it would open on the banks of the Humber but instead will work from the former steelworks site at South Bank near Middlesbrough.
They will be used to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm at Dogger Bank.
Work on the site could start in July.”
The bit the BBC doesn’t mention is this:
“It will be built on the 4.5m sq ft offshore wind and industrial space being created on 450 acres of land next to the wharf and heavy-lift South Bank Quay.
The first phase of the quay was recently awarded £107m of funding in the UK Infrastructure Bank’s first ever investment.”
Does “awarded funding” mean that a grant was given or a loan made, and in either case, on what terms? If it’s a grant, it looks as though each job is costing the taxpayer close on £1.5M. Why is the BBC reporting so gushingly favourable and lacking in critical detail?
Well, quite a day in terms of establishing that the “green jobs” publicity is a myth. I give credit to the Guardian for publicising this, but not for drawing the conclusion that we “need to do more” (to paraphrase roughly). First up:
“UK green economy has failed to grow since 2014, according to official data
Office for National Statistics finds ‘no significant change’ in turnover and jobs in low-carbon and renewable energy sector”
“The UK’s low-carbon and renewable energy economy has failed to grow since 2014, according to official data showing a fall in the number of green jobs.
In a blow to the government’s pledge to boost net-zero employment opportunities, the Office for National Statistics said its latest figures, covering 2020, showed “no significant change” in turnover and job numbers in the sector compared with six years earlier.
Employment in the low-carbon and renewable energy economy – which includes manufacturing, energy supply and construction – fell by about 28,000 across the UK over the period, to just 207,800. Among the steepest declines were in factories producing energy-efficient products, onshore wind, and solar energy….
…Although the latest snapshot includes the first year of the coronavirus pandemic – when the British economy plunged into the deepest recession for 100 years – the figures show that in 2019, before the health emergency struck, green business turnover also fell compared with a year earlier.
According to the latest data, the sector with the largest growth in jobs was in low-emission vehicles and infrastructure, where employment more than doubled to 19,100. However, this was not enough to offset bigger falls elsewhere, including a decline of more than a quarter, or 32,000, in the number of jobs in energy-efficient product manufacturing.
The number of green businesses operating in the UK fell by 13% over the six-year period, while the combined turnover for the low-carbon economy fell by almost 6% to £41.2bn….
…While green sectors including offshore wind have recorded substantial growth in recent years, with a sharp rise in renewable energy production, critics argue that much of the activity has been driven by foreign companies, with a reliance on the UK importing turbine blades and components manufactured abroad….”
Then there’s Larry Elliott in the Guardian (thank goodness for the voice of sanity there):
“Hard data blows apart UK rhetoric on leading the way to a green economy”
“…The problem is the claims of global leadership don’t tally with the hard data. Turnover in the low-carbon and renewable energy sector was the same in 2020 as in 2014. The number of people employed has actually fallen by 28,000 to just over 200,000.
To take a specific example, at the last count there were only 2,300 people working in the booming offshore wind sector – down by a third since the middle of the last decade. The reason is simple. Unlike oil and gas rigs, nobody works full-time on the turbines and their manufacture has been outsourced to other countries. It is the same story in solar, where employment has dropped by 40% to 4,300.
To be clear, the lack of tangible progress is not due to the pandemic, because jobs and turnover – according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics – were both flatlining even before the arrival of Covid-19….”
And here’s the link to the ONS data:
Who says there are no green jobs? Someone will have to re-erect and/or rebuild the turbine in Wales that was blown over by, er, wind.
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but wait, i’ve seen the ads on TV – “WE ARE GOING GREEN” !!!!
must be some mistake in your or ONS numbers?
This story is from the other side of the planet to those of us who are in the UK, and it isn’t about the lack of green jobs; rather it’s about the destruction of real jobs and the imposition of poverty on those who earn a living from supplying reliable energy when they are told that it’s dirty and has to stop. Nevertheless, I think it’s worth mentioning here, because in many ways it’s simply the other side of the coin. I am impressed that the Guardian has reported in this way, but am less impressed by what look to me like crocodile tears:
“‘A train wreck’: what happens to workers and towns when the lights go out on coal power?
Eraring, the country’s largest coal-fired power station, will shut in three years, but transition plans for employees, communities – and the grid – are lacking”
“…“But it’s the workers I worry about. They’ve got families as well. Who is going to support them?”
Origin Energy said its decision reflected a rapidly changing energy market in which traditional power stations could not compete with cheaper, renewable options.
The Nature Conservation Council of NSW estimated the exit of Eraring would avoid up to 87m tonnes of climate pollution, describing it as a “ray of hope for leaving a safe climate for our children”.
But the council said the NSW and federal governments also had a task ahead of them to ensure a seamless transition for both the energy grid and communities affected by station closures.
In the NSW Hunter region, four power stations are set to close – on current schedules – by 2033.
AGL’s Liddell power station is first in 2023, followed by Eraring in 2025, Vales Point in 2029 and Bayswater no later than 2033.
Governments have had years to prepare communities and workers for the transition to a green economy.
And yet calls for action from the Lake Macquarie region have gone unanswered.
Kay Fraser is the mayor of Lake Macquarie city council, which serves a population of 209,000 in centres including Belmont, Charlestown, Swansea, Toronto, Morriset and Warners Bay.
She said the community was “devastated” by Thursday’s announcement, which would affect not only the 400 workers at the plant but thousands more in the supply chain, and the areas they live.
“We’ve known this was coming but it’s like a train wreck,” she said….”.
Mark – posted this earlier but seems to be blocked (so i stripped out links)
“had a look at the Guardian link & links it supplied to find if the quote –
“Origin Energy said its decision reflected a rapidly changing energy market in which traditional power stations could not compete with cheaper, renewable options.” was accurate.
seems the CEO did say –
“Origin’s chief executive, Frank Calabria, said the energy market was now “very different” from when Eraring began fully operating in 1984. The plant provides about a fifth of NSW’s electricity generation. “The reality is the economics of coal-fired power stations are being put under increasing, unsustainable pressure by cleaner and lower cost generation, including solar, wind and batteries,” he said in a statement.”
out of curiosity I went to Origin’s website & found they have a sustainability tab.
it makes sense now, when read with the Guardian quote –
“Matt Kean, the NSW treasurer and energy minister, said he was disappointed by Origin’s decision and acknowledged the closure would cause problems for the grid if not replaced. He promised the state would build what he described as the “biggest battery in the southern hemisphere” in response.
Called the “Waratah super battery”, it would have a 700MW/1400 megawatt hour capacity, and would be initially funded through a new Transmission Acceleration Facility promised to “fast-track the delivery of critical transmission infrastructure”. He said the state’s electricity infrastructure roadmap, supporting a number of new renewable energy zones, would receive an additional $84m funding and another $47.5m would be spent on pumped hydro storage.”
ps – ties in with your latest comment on “Saving the Planet by Trashing it”
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Ben PIle, once of this parish, writing today at Spiked Online:
“The green industrial revolution is a lie
The UK’s green sector has not grown in nearly a decade.”
That’s OK. Greens don’t believe in growth…
“FMQs: Bi-Fab yard forced to hire overseas staff to make windfarm parts”
“A SCOTTISH based company was forced to recruit “dozens” of workers from overseas to build windfarm equipment despite Nicola Sturgeon promising the renewable sector would provide “truly historic” job opportunities for local people.
The issue was raised at First Minister’s Questions today in Holyrood by the Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole Hamilton in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and fears over energy supplies….
…the Lib Dem MSP said while the Bi-Fab plant, in Methil, Fife, recently been taken over by a new owner InfraStrata plc, had won contracts, but could not find qualified staff.
“The aggression that has been demonstrated by the Russian regime in recent days asks us, once again, searching questions about our energy security.
“Fifteen years ago, Alex Salmond thundered that Scotland would become the ‘Saudi Arabia of renewables’. A few weeks ago, the First Minister boasted of a ‘truly historic’ opportunity for renewables jobs,” he told the chamber.
“Now the new owner of the Burntisland Fabrications site, InfraStrata plc, has secured work, but cannot find Scottish workers. There are not enough trained workers among the colossal wind farms of the Forth estuary to build even eight turbine jackets.
“Instead, the new owner has had to recruit dozens of workers from abroad, because the Scottish National Party has failed to train enough skilled workers here. Not only are most of the wind farms being built in the far east, but the work that we have won is not being built by workers from Scotland.
“Does that not show that the SNP’s renewables policy is all wind and no jobs?”…”.
“Seagreen: Firm behind Angus offshore wind farm pipeline in receivership”
“The firm installing a pipeline to a major offshore wind farm off the Angus coast has been placed in receivership.
Roadbridge was responsible for the installation of more than 11 miles (19km) of cable for the Seagreen windfarm pipeline.
It runs from Carnoustie to the proposed substation at Tealing.
It is central to the £3 billion joint venture between TotalEnergies and SSE Renewables, which is scheduled to enter commercial operation in 2023.
Roadbridge UK is a subsidiary of Roadbridge Ltd, based in the Republic of Ireland.
The company cited financial difficulties as it entered receivership.”
Mark – can’t read your link (blocked) but it’s another worrying sign.
googled it & found this –
“A deal has been concluded to allow the developer behind what will become Scotland’s largest offshore windfarm to use Carnoustie’s world-famous golf links for its cabling.” – how dare they dig up Carnoustie !!! are the greens to green enough ?
comment will get blocked again I expect – I may give up
Curious that the link didn’t work. I just checked it in case I made a mistake when posting it, and it worked OK for me.
“Teesside’s Lighthouse Green Fuels Project gets Saudi £1bn”
“…Alfanar said 700 jobs would be created in the construction of the Lighthouse Green Fuels Project at Billingham and 240 jobs when it is operational….”.
Read on to the very end:
“Alfanar was previously awarded £2.4m by the UK government as part of its Green Fuels, Green Skies competition to take the project forward.”
A mere £10,000 of taxpayers’ money per permanent job – a bargain! Of course, what we aren’t told, is what sort of jobs they are, how many are part-time and how many are full-time etc.
The sad, and probably inevitable, next step from the news of receivership:
“Jobs lost after civil engineer Roadbridge UK collapses”
“Dozens of workers across Scotland have been made redundant following the collapse of the UK subsidiary of Irish civil engineering firm Roadbridge.
Roadbridge UK went into receivership last week after administrators from Grant Thornton were called in.
The “vast majority” of the firm’s 215 employees have now been made redundant, the administrators confirmed…
…Roadbridge UK was involved in a number of high-profile civil engineering projects in Scotland, including the Whitelee wind farm extension and the A737 Dalry Bypass in Ayrshire….”.
“Anglesey: Orthios eco park placed into administration”
“The company behind a £1bn eco park on Anglesey has been placed into administration, sparking fears over job losses.
Orthios, based at the former Anglesey Aluminium site, confirmed their main private investor has decided to put the business into administration.
Local MP Virginia Crosbie said she feared 120 staff may have lost their jobs.
Plans for the large biomass plant and eco park were revealed in 2016.
Member of the Senedd for Ynys Mon, Rhun ap Iorwerth has written to the company and the Welsh government to seek reassurances and help for workers.
An Orthios employee contacted BBC Wales, claiming they had received a message from their supervisor, telling them the company had gone into administration and all staff had been made redundant.”
It wasn’t supposed to end like this:
“FIRST SPADE IN THE GROUND FOR MULTI-MILLION POUND ECO PARKS”
“Best International secured the final funding to start work on the land
Best International successfully acquired all funding needed to commence works on Anglesey’s power station project.
Cheshire based wealth asset management specialists, Best International are delighted to confirm they have secured the £22 million funding required to launch the project.
It means work will begin later in the year creating thousands of jobs in both the construction stages and beyond – with the second phase of funding already secured via the £2 billion investment into the project….
…Best International are the Knutsford based wealth asset management specialists who have been assisting on the funding strategy to rejuvenate the Orthios Eco Parks for the past 18 months.
It was announced in October that Best International had secured a £2 billion investment into the projects. They will develop energy and food stations within the Eco Parks – but their investment would only be made once the initial funding had been secured.
Best International have now secured the £22 million required to begin Phase 1. The funds were raised via Best Corporate Bonds in just 18 months.
The project, to transform the disused industrial sites at Anglesey into a 299-megawatt combined heat and power station will create thousands of jobs between the two projects.
With the additional funding now secured, an announcement on when work will begin is expected over the coming months.
The funding is a huge boost for Best International, further enhancing their status as UK leaders in capital raising, funding and asset management strategies for SMEs….”.
“Ministers urged to intervene to keep renewable energy jobs in UK after big contract for floating wind farms given to Middle East-based group
Dubai’s Lamprell has signed a deal to fabricate 200 turbines for the farms
GMB union has criticised the Government’s Energy Security Strategy”
“Ministers have been urged to intervene to keep renewable energy jobs in the UK after a big contract for floating wind farms was given to a Middle East-based group.
Dubai-based Lamprell signed an early stage deal this month to fabricate 200 turbines for the farms, to be installed west of Shetland.
But the GMB union said the deal meant the Government’s Energy Security Strategy had ‘fallen at the first hurdle’ as UK workers missed out on jobs on the multi-billion pound project.
Gary Smith, GMB general secretary, said: ‘It’s a national scandal that UK workers and communities are being forced to watch as multi-billion pound contracts for offshore wind farms are sent overseas to companies in authoritarian regimes.’
The union has written to politicians in Westminster and Holyrood calling for a joint review.
It wants emergency legislation to stop work going abroad.
Lamprell is listed in London but much of its work is focused in the Middle East.”
Mark – how do find all these uplifting news stories ?
just when you thought things can’t get any worse/screwed up, along comes another.
dfhunter – it isn’t difficult; they’re everywhere! We’re going to hell in a handcart, and not for the reasons that the Guardian and the BBC would have us believe.
“Boris Johnson could cut up to 91,000 civil service jobs”
Today’s top news. In the small print:
There’s 70 of them thar green jobs for you. Obvious to me that we still need 70 staff working on something that finished half a year ago. Somewhere in a bunker under Whitehall, someone is still working on Operation “Tube Alloys.”
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COP26 was such a success that the 70 have literally worked themselves out of a job. Respect.
Jit – you got me with the – Operation “Tube Alloys.” bit. thought you had lost the plot.
should have known better –
“The Tube Alloys programme in Britain and Canada was the first nuclear weapons project. Due to the high costs, and the fact that Britain was fighting a war within bombing range of its enemies, Tube Alloys was ultimately subsumed into the Manhattan Project by the Quebec Agreement with the United States, under which the two nations agreed to share nuclear weapons technology, and to refrain from using it against each other, or against other countries without mutual consent; but the United States did not provide complete details of the results of the Manhattan Project to the United Kingdom. The Soviet Union gained valuable information through its atomic spies, who had infiltrated both the British and American projects”
An interesting headline and development:
“German chancellor accused of comparing climate activists to Nazis
Olaf Scholz didn’t elaborate on what he meant when saying ‘black-clad enactments’ reminded him of a bygone era.”
“Climate activists are accusing German Chancellor Olaf Scholz of comparing them to Nazis, something his spokesperson called “absurd.”
Scholz was interrupted by campaigners during a panel discussion at the German Catholic Convention on Friday as he mentioned the mining jobs lost in the country’s coal phaseout plans. Germany’s ruling coalition aims to end coal-fired power by 2030.
“I’ll be honest,” the chancellor responded, “these black-clad enactments at various events by always the same people remind me of a time that is, thank God, long gone.” Scholz then accused the activists of not wanting to engage in discussion but rather “manipulate” the event “for their own purposes.”
As he didn’t elaborate, many activists and other commentators interpreted Scholz’s words as a reference to the Nazi era and black SS uniforms when a clip of the interaction went viral over the weekend.”
Curious though that is, it’s not actually the reason I post it here. This is:
“More than 100,000 renewables jobs were lost since 2011 as Germany’s domestic solar industry declined, according to official data.”
It looks as though it isn’t just in the UK that all the promised green jobs have either failed to materialise or have disappeared.
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Whatever Olaf Scholz meant (and I tend to agree with the revolting activists on the meaning) it is striking that his Vice Chancellor, leader of the Greens, would never use the same terms. And Scholz is the one who has just talked to Putin, with Macron, and the three men agreed to continue contacts by phone – well, according to the Kremlin! As junior Tory MPs are reportedly near to the numbers needed for an attempted coup over here the German ruling coalition is hardly singing from the same hymn sheet from the very top.
Whatever way that goes, good on Scholz for saying it how it is on green jobs.
So, the Germans have ruled out nuclear energy, are phasing out coal, and want to stick it to Vlad by not buying his oil and gas (so they claim).
Never mind: There will be plenty of energy available from all the unicorn droppings scattered among the windmills and solar panels.
German industry leaders are ecstatic about all this.
Unfortunately, behind a paywall, but you can see enough to get the gist:
“Green jobs revolution concern as Scotland loses more than 27,000 manufacturing jobs during pandemic”
“SCOTLAND has lost more than 27,000 manufacturing jobs during the pandemic, leading to fresh concerns about the green jobs revolution in Scotland.
New official estimates show that the manufacturing workforce has dropped from 210,200 in 2019 to 182,600 in 2021 – a fall of 13%.
Concerns have been raised by the GMB union which says that while the race to net zero is supposed to revolutionise manufacturing, ministers have “let the jobs disappear overseas”.
The Scottish government had promised to create 130,000 green jobs by 2020 and has come under fire by critics after only s fraction of the roles expected have materialised.
According to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) from February, the number of full-time equivalent jobs in Scotland’s “low-carbon and renewable economy” fell from 21,700 in 2019 to 20,500 in 2020, a drop from 23,200 in 2014…
…According to the same estimates there are just 4,800 full-time workers in offshore and onshore wind in Scotland out of 14,800 across the UK in 2020.
The GMB said there are now 200 more people serving rollercoasters and ghost trains in theme parks than wind turbines and said that shows how “badly managed our green revolution is.”
Last year it emerged that 35,000 UK jobs supported by the oil and gas industry have been lost in 2020 as Covid and volatile prices struck…
…Earlier there were concerns as a contract to manufacture and supply monopiles for the huge Moray West offshore wind farm went to China’s Dajin Heavy Industry…
…In March, Ocean Winds signed a capacity agreement with United Arab Emirates based Lamprell worth in excess of £150M, covering the supply of 62 transition pieces , including 60 wind turbine jackets and kit for the scheme’s two offshore substations…”
And much more in similar vein.
For the sake of balance:
“Eco-airship contract to launch 1,800 jobs in South Yorkshire
Spanish carrier orders 10 helium-filled Airlander 10 aircraft in boost for UK green tech and maker HAV”
“About 1,800 jobs are to be created in South Yorkshire building 10 new environmentally friendly airships.
Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), a small Bedford-based company, announced on Wednesday it had signed a deal to provide a Spanish airline with 10 of its 100-passenger Airlander 10 helium-filled airships.
The aircraft, which the company says will have under a tenth of the CO2 footprint per passenger of jet planes, will be built at a new green aerospace manufacturing cluster in South Yorkshire.
Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, said the commissioning of the Airlander showed that the UK was at the forefront of “revolutionary” greener aviation technology.”
We’ll see. I’m sceptical, but will be very happy to be proved wrong. Goodness knows, we could do with some good news regarding jobs and manufacturing.
Well, it’s green until we stop extracting gas. Says wiki:
Airships are great I’m sure, as long as you plan to write a novel between taking off and landing.
That’s what happens when I try to be fair and balanced – I lean too far away from common sense. OK, they’re not “green” jobs, they aren’t even useful jobs, but at least they’re jobs, and for once the Spanish are paying, rather than it being a case of a Spanish wind farm company with a Scottish name taking UK subsidies. So it’s a start, I suppose…
Will they report back on this a little way down the line to see the extent (if at all) to which the claims of green jobs turn out to be substantiated? Or will it be like all the other fanfares where, down the line, nothing happens?
“Floating wind farms at sea to create 29,000 jobs – Crown Estate”
“Plans to generate electricity through floating wind farms off the south Wales coast could create thousands of new jobs, according to the Crown Estate.
The property business owned by the monarch but run independently said the new industry could create about 29,000 jobs, including 10,000 in Wales.
It is leasing the space to generate enough power for four million homes.”
Lots of problems in the first three paragraphs. “Could” isn’t the same as “will”. “About 29,000” isn’t the same as “29,000”. “…enough power for four million homes” isn’t the same as powering 4 million homes reliably and non-intermittently. It’s another puff piece, in other words.
“Teesworks wind turbine blade plant shelved”
“Plans for a wind turbine blade plant on Teesside have been shelved after months of uncertainty.
General Electric Renewable Energy (GE) had aimed to open on the former steelworks site at Redcar to supply the Dogger Bank wind farm off the Yorkshire coast.
It was hoped it would create 750 jobs and another 1,500 in the supply chain.
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said the site could still accommodate the firm if it changed its mind.
The news was reported by the Renewable Energy News website, which said GE was “not moving forward with plans for a Teesside facility”.
Uncertainty over the plant emerged late in 2021 when the firm confirmed there were delays to the sign-off of a deal.
It had lined up Teesside to make 350ft (107m) long blades.
Responding to the news, the Conservative mayor said it seemed GE “haven’t been successful enough to secure orders with potential clients, but we continue to stand ready to welcome them on site in the future”.
He added “2,250 well-paid, good quality jobs” were envisaged from a Teesside plant being run by South Korean firm SeAH, which would make monopiles, the steel tubes that are driven into the sea bed.
A Dogger Bank spokesman said it was disappointed GE was “not progressing” with its plans for the blade facility.”
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Talk about spin (pardon the pun). That BBC story about GE shelving plans for a wind turbine plant on Teesside has now miraculously turned into this:
“Teesworks £400m wind turbine factory work begins”
It’s basically the same story, but with a positive spin on it. It still contains the hard facts, which are an uncomfortable truth (but this time buried deep in the article):
“But General Electric has said it will “not be moving forward” with its plans to make turbine blades there.”
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“Port Talbot: Tata steelworks could close without subsidy deal”
The green jobs don’t seem to have materialised, but net zero is threatening existing jobs:
“The owner of Port Talbot steelworks warned sites could be shut without subsidies for reducing carbon emissions, reports claim.
Tata Group wants to reach a deal for the UK government to provide £1.5bn towards this, the Financial Times says.
The UK’s biggest steelworks, in Port Talbot, employs 4,000 people.
The UK government said steel “plays a critical role” in the UK economy and Tata was “a valued steel producer and significant employer”.
Speaking to the FT, Tata Group chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said: “A transition to a greener steel plant is the intention that we have . . . But this is only possible with financial help from the government.
We have been in discussions over the last two years and we should come to an agreement within 12 months. Without this, we will have to look at closures of sites.”
The report says Tata wants to close two blast furnaces at Port Talbot and build two electric arc furnaces, that will be less carbon intensive.
However, the FT adds this process will cost about £3bn, with Tata seeking £1.5bn from the UK government.
Responding to the news, Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock said the steelworks in Port Talbot made the “best steel money can buy”….”.
Might not it be better to allow the coal mine in Cumbria to open and supply coking coal to British steelworks? Jobs all round, and a contribution to the nation’s finances instead of draining them.
Andrew Montford makes a sobering point during an interesting thread kicked off by Ben Pile
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And here’s an update on the Tata Steel story:
“Talks continuing with Tata steel, Welsh secretary says”
“The Welsh secretary says talks over a subsidy to help Tata Steel reduce its carbon emissions are continuing.
Sir Robert Buckland said people should be “a little cautious” about media reports that the company wants £1.5bn.
He added a decision on the matter should be made by the next prime minister.
On Friday the Financial Times reported that Tata would consider closing its sites if a deal is not done in the next 12 months.
Tata Group owns the UK’s biggest steelworks, in Port Talbot, which employs 4,000 people.
Its chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran told the FT a transition to a “greener steel plant” is “only possible with financial help from the government”.
“We have been in discussions over the last two years and we should come to an agreement within 12 months.
“Without this, we will have to look at closures of sites.”…”.
“Port Talbot: Tata Steel faces crunch-time, professor warns”
“The UK’s largest steelworks is facing “crunch time” over reducing carbon emissions, a professor has warned.
There have been warnings the Port Talbot plant could be closed if a deal isn’t reached for subsidies to reduce carbon emissions.
Tata Steel said it was committed to cutting its impact on the environment and climate change.
Prof John Gibbins said the technology could cost up to £1bn and take years to implement, but would save jobs.
He told BBC Wales carbon capture and storage was the answer. But an economist said the technology would not be viable….”.
“Climate change: Wales’ ports need upgrade for bigger wind farms”
“There are fears Wales could lose out on jobs and investment from offshore wind because ports are not well equipped enough.
Wind farms being developed now have much bigger and heavier turbines, needing quays that can carry ten times the weight they do now.
Hundreds of jobs could be created by expansion, one port manager said.
The Welsh government said it was working with four operators to understand the specific requirements….
…Jim O’Toole, managing director of Port of Mostyn, in Flintshire, said these opportunities could be threatened because no port in north Wales was well enough equipped to handle the larger turbines being planned now.
His port has already built seven wind farms, the last being Gwynt y Môr, run by RWE, which has 160 turbines that are 150m (492ft) tall to the blade tip.
The company’s next project off north Wales, Awel y Môr, involves turbines that are 332m (1,090ft) high, and much heavier.
The massive turbines will be taken out to sea by boat and the quay, which the boats tie up to, will need to be able to cope with weights of 3,000 tonnes, compared with 300 tonnes now.
“The existing quays are no longer capable of doing those lifts, so we need to build a whole new quay capable of lifting 3,000 tonnes,” he said….”.
Not very green, is it? Poor Wales. Steel jobs destroyed. New jobs not replacing them. Land- and seascapes vandalised.
This is becoming ridiculous:
“Final decision on west Cumbria coal mine delayed again”
“A decision on West Cumbria’s proposed new coal mine has been delayed again.
The Government has now set a deadline of November 8 to make a final decision on the controversial scheme, which would see coking coal extracted from beneath the Irish Sea off the coast of Whitehaven.
Greg Clark, who last month replaced Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, was due to make a decision next week….
…t is the third deadline that has been set for the decision to be made after a planning inquiry was held in September last year and a report was prepared by the planning inspector for the secretary of state to consider.
The original deadline of July 7 was pushed back to August 17 when Michael Gove was sensationally sacked by Boris Johnson on July 6 – before he had issued a decision. The Prime Minister then resigned the following day.
Mike Starkie, elected mayor of Copeland, said he was furious that there would be a further delay.
He said: “It’s outrageous. I’m absolutely furious.
“The civil servants have had nearly a year to complete the work. I find it difficult to believe that anyone could be that inept that they couldn’t get this resolved in the time….
…“This is a planning decision we shouldn’t have to wait for a Prime Minister to be elected. The planning inspector has made his recommendation and I’m going to write to the Government and say the very least they can do is make the planning report public.”…”.
But key stakeholders have received a letter from the Government this evening confirming a further delay.
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“NI offshore wind farms would boost jobs and cut emissions – report”
And how disinterested is the report?
It responds well to strong political signals? As do fossil fuel companies. That might explain, in part at least, why gas supply is so constrained at a time of high demand. Never mind, one rule for unreliable renewables, and another for reliable fossil fuels.
And the report was commissioned by RenewableNI (“As a collaboration between Wind Energy Ireland (WEI) and RenewableUK (RUK), we also work closely with both trade bodies on issues impacting the renewable electricity industry across the UK and Ireland.”). And it was carried out by BVG Associates (“We’re dedicated to helping our clients succeed in a sustainable global electricity generation mix founded on renewables. We combine deep wind industry knowledge with skills gained in the world of business consulting.”).
Without dismissing the report entirely simply because of the nature of the people commissioning and carrying it out, is it not incumbent on the BBC to point out a little more clearly that this is not remotely a disinterested report? Instead the article is a puff piece in support of renewables in Northern Ireland.
“The Great European Energy Disaster”
“The UK’s energy system is fattening state coffers – just not Britain’s
The British public should enjoy the full benefit of the energy that is generated here, and help plan its future”
Mark O’Grady’s line there
“But unlike gold – or fossil fuels – no matter how much you take, it never runs out”
that doesn’t sound true to me.
Mostly wind will move around
sometimes it loses energy to noise. to friction
Likewise the sun creating heat gradients will put energy in.
However if mankind is taking energy out of that stock it is diminishing
It’s just the stock is absolutely mega
mankind is probably impacting the stock by a millionth of a percent or something.
but the normal argument is that mankind has changes the air by a 50 millionth re carbon dioxide
ie rise from 350ppm to 400ppm
I have been considering this comment for some time in relevance to ”renewables jobs”. My family has been extremely lucky to have been in the right place at the right time, they are all working or worked for SSE . My wife worked in procurement and took on the Clyde and Greater Gabbard wind farm projects. My daughter started with working on radar interference from turbines and now works on a combined gas power station specifically carbon capture. My son works on environmental projects linked to off shore turbines and is now utilising some of the tech for Health and Safety control of lone working in remote sites like wind farms.The other side of the coin shows my brother’s family working again for SSE but in the non renewables side, civil works, corporate relations and transmission. Out of 6 only 2 actually started in new jobs created by renewables. I have seen a few reports on STV news interviewing students working for renewables projects, they seem to have a certain desperate hope they will get a full-time job out of it.
Thank you for the interesting insight.
Whatever you do, don’t mention SSE (who are behind the Viking Energy wind farm) in Shetland – it probably won’t go down very well!
“Shock therapy: turmoil engulfs Britishvolt’s £3.8bn battery factory
Future of company hailed by Boris Johnson as key to green industrial revolution hangs in the balance, as the first in our Electric Dreams series on Britain’s fledgling battery industry reveals”
And much more in similar vein.
“Another financing problem relates to Britishvolt’s other key asset: a promise of £100m in government funding. The then business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng revealed in July that the government had made a “final grant offer” – albeit one much lower than the £200m Britishvolt hoped for at the beginning of the talks.”
this is not funny anymore – we the taxpayer are paying for this scam.
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“India’s solar powered future clashes with local life”
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“Rees-Mogg in talks with UK steelmakers as fears grow for thousands of jobs
Business secretary liaises with Tata Steel and Jingye Group over Port Talbot and Scunthorpe sites”
“UK battery firm staff agree to November pay cut”
“Solar farm owner Toucan Energy enters administration amid Thurrock scandal
Authority lent total of £655m over four years to owner of 53 solar parks across Britain”
“UK wind farm staff swapped for foreign crew in Scots green revolution”
Sad news, especially at this time of year:
“Windhoist: Jobs lost as Irvine-based company enters administration”
“Steel production halting due to rising energy costs”
Never mind “where did all the green jobs go?”. In Scotland, under the SNP/Green coalition, it’s more a case of where did all the jobs go?
“New CalMac ferries for Western Isles to be built in Turkey”
Interesting conclusion by the BBC’s Douglas Fraser:
tell me it’s a joke “Turkey for Xmas”
A dose of realism from one of the BBC’s more balanced journalists:
“Energy prospects blow hot and cold”
With precious little sign of green jobs, it should be blindingly obvious by now that net zero policies are costing exiting jobs:
“Liberty Steel plans to cut 440 jobs in UK and reduce production
Union condemns Gupta group ‘switch from substantial investment’ to idling plant and curbing output”
“Britishvolt: UK battery start-up collapses into administration”
Paul Homewood has a piece on it too:
And here’s Net Zero Watch’s take:
“Britishvolt’s collapse signals economic disaster for the UK’s Net Zero plans”
“Government to offer £600m for green steel switch”
So, no new “green” jobs. Just the forlorn hope of saving some existing jobs from being lost thanks to net zero policies, at a cost to the taxpayer of £600 million (with no doubt more costs down the line). All to make money for a Chinese company. Good job!
“Electric vans startup Arrival to cut 800 jobs amid focus on US market
British firm hopes to benefit from Joe Biden’s green energy subsidies and start production in north Carolina”
Arrival – The company was valued at more than $15bn on the Nasdaq in New York at its height, but the shares slumped during 2022 and the firm is now worth $250m.
Arrival had cash on hand of $205m at the end of last year, it said.
On listing, the firm had said it planned to focus on vans and buses before potentially moving into smaller passenger vehicles, with a focus at first on taxis, but with the possibility of cars for consumers too.
Arrival was founded in west London in 2014 by Sverdlov, who sold telecoms firm and mobile phone maker Yota in 2013.
with link back – https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/nov/24/founder-of-troubled-electric-van-maker-arrival-steps-aside-as-ceo
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And now this:
“British Steel considering cutting up to 1,200 jobs in Scunthorpe
Unions say move would be ‘betrayal’ amid talks with UK government over potential £300m in financial support”
Yet more evidence that net zero destroys jobs.
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Sadly, here are the first of those job cuts:
“British Steel to cut jobs amid fears for industry”
British Steel is expected to announce on Wednesday the closure of its coking ovens in Scunthorpe with the loss of 300 jobs.
The timescale for the closure is unclear, as is how many compulsory redundancies it will involve.
Coking ovens are used to turn coal into coke which burns at the higher temperature needed for the two blast furnaces that remain in operation.
The closure means British Steel will import coke…
And still many middle-class people with comfortable jobs and/or decent incomes continue to campaign against a mine in Cumbria which will provide coking coal and jobs in a depressed area of high unemployment.
Local expert opinion
update Its Apple Coke Ovens that are closing
“The Dawes Lane coke ovens is at the end of its life
So they rebuild a plant
or do something else like import.”
When I worked a summer there,we had difficulty with EU laws
so we bought nearby farmland
cos the fines are lower for polluting your own land.
Building a new plant with UK/EU pollution laws is difficult.
Update we just realised Dawes Lane closed 6 years ago
That means Appleby must have been renovated
Battery 4 reopened in August 2016
And it seems the other 3 were renovated before that.
Your gas price might go up.
Coke ovens byproduct is town gas, that is then used around the steel plant
Port Talbot plant says it is 81% self-sufficient for gas.
Scunthorpe will be similar.
“Who killed the car industry?
The British state’s green diktats are making drivers’ lives a misery.”
Disgracefully inaccurate headline from the BBC:
“The students at the heart of the green jobs boom”
What green jobs boom? The report certainly doesn’t describe one. Lots of student courses doesn’t necessarily equate to jobs. Indeed, as the article says (if you read far enough):
40% of Vacancies? But how many vacancies are there? And “could now be described as” isn’t the same as “are”. The whole thing is a puff piece.
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Maybe I should post the following story and link under Cloud Cuckoo Land…
Then again, given the lack of “green” jobs to date, and the rapid destruction of other jobs, this seems as good a place as any/
“Climate change: UK risks losing investment in net-zero race, MPs warn”
It’s as though they all live in a parallel universe, far, far away.
Meanwhile, back in the real world:
“North Sea oil and gas losing investments – report”
So much for energy security.
“Warning UK car industry under threat without help”
Perhaps if car manufacturers weren’t being forced to manufacture cars that most people don’t want, the industry wouldn’t be in such trouble.
“Ministers halt ‘scandal’ of Scots wind farm foreign labour”
“Gas output up off Aberdeen amid Dundee renewables jobs fears”
“Offshore wind delivers one tenth of jobs promised by ministers”
3100. Pathetic. The distillery industry employs more than twice that number.
“Nine in ten distilling jobs in Britain are based in Scotland. Employment levels in the industry have been relatively stable, varying between 7,000 to 8,000 over the last eight years.”
I wonder, given the choice, what would Scots prefer: more whisky or more wind turbines?
Back to magical thinking again.
The more people employed in wind power… the more expensive it is. Shall we have a “farm jobs revolution” too? It’s easy to achieve. We just need to ban tractors.
And yes, a more rational approach would be to send envoys to Japan inviting them to buy more single malt.
We have Tullibardine Distillery in the village producing a single malt which is normally used for blending, not so well known for it’s own label. Until relatively recently the distillery employed probably 8 to 10 people the majority from the village including still op’s, management and customs and excise. There is now a bottling line and a more extensive visitors centre, now employing over 20 people, probably nearer 30 during busy spells. Not a lot, but for a not so well known brand compared to the Spey malts, pretty good. The comparison with green jobs, we can see 3 wind farms from the village, I don’t know of anybody in the village employed in a Green job associated with the building or running of these turbines. I have seen the odd pick up truck with trailer loaded with various engineering equipment heading into the hills but have not been able to read a company logo on the truck.
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It appears that the wind industry is trying to block the transition of oil & gas workers into the renewables game:
“The global offshore wind industry skills body has been accused of “putting in place roadblocks” to the creation of a jobs passport for oil workers to transfer into renewables.
Efforts have been underway for years to develop such a document, considered vital for allowing oil and gas workers to transfer into renewables without hefty retraining fees, which pose a major barrier to the transition.
But Global Wind Organisation (GWO) has been warned to “seriously reflect on its stance” by union bosses, lest government intervention is called for.
The group has been accused of trying to “push its own brand” and is “resist(ing)the idea of commonality of standards”.”