Read and weep for the green jobs in Australia

The future of Australian industry is visible in Scotland where the green revolution was supposed to generate hundreds of thousands of new, well-paid green jobs. A longish piece but full of meat and a grim warning for us.

In summary, the massive expansion of windfarms in Britain was funded by Britain and built in China using cheap coal power (ignore the reference to dirty power). There was some work in Scotland early in the piece but now those facilities are wastelands.


Shortly before losing office in 2010, the former prime minister Gordon Brown went further, boasting that Britain’s offshore industry was already ‘ahead of every other country’ in the world.

In his glittering green future, offshore wind alone would generate ‘up to 70,000 jobs by 2020’.

The pledges continued under David Cameron’s coalition. In 2011, the Lib Dem energy secretary Chris Huhne, later jailed for lying over a speeding conviction, addressed the annual conference of RenewableUK, the green energy lobby group.

‘Renewable energy technologies will deliver a third industrial revolution,’ he said, ‘blazing a trail of start-ups and jobs.’

Nowhere was the hyperbole quite so extreme as in Scotland where the former SNP first minister Alex Salmond boasted that the country would become ‘the Saudi Arabia’ of renewables.

His deputy, John Swinney, claimed building wind farms off the Scottish coast would create ‘28,000 direct jobs and a further 20,000 indirect jobs in related industries by 2020’. In Methil, the promises have turned to dust.

Certainly, since 2010, there have been plenty of new offshore windfarms. Britain’s capacity has doubled to 10 gigawatts, and under Mr Johnson’s 10 Point Plan For A Green Industrial Revolution, which he launched last November, it is set to quadruple again by 2030 — so creating (of course!) ‘tens of thousands’ of new manufacturing jobs.

In 2018, Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the Unite trade union revealed that far from the promised 28,000 Scottish manufacturing jobs in offshore wind, there were just 1,700. And since then, the situation has deteriorated.

Last month, Scotland’s only factory making turbine towers, at Campbeltown in Argyll, closed permanently.

So no one is making offshore towers in Britain, although turbine blades are still made at the Danish firm Vestas on the Isle of Wight, and Siemens Gamesa in Hull.

As for solar energy, Britain’s only large panel factory, in Wrexham in Wales, shut down in 2013, with the loss of 615 jobs.

A report by Strathclyde University last June said that in 2019 there were 1,190 full-time Scottish manufacturing jobs across all types of renewable energy, including hydro power, solar, onshore and offshore wind, and a further 1,000 ‘indirectly’ employed in the renewables supply chain.

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October 14, 2021 9:41 am

In his glittering green future, offshore wind alone would generate ‘up to 70,000 jobs by 2020’.

There will be.

As maids and catamites for the ruling class who are paid big dollars to have the bat munching monstrosities on their land.
All the wind-lease payments that Dean Retherfordhas negotiated are based on gross revenue per turbine. Each 1.5- or 3-MW turbine earns an annual royalty payment of $5,000 and $8,000, he says. The wind companies pay property taxes on the commercial facility, but not on the leased land.

Most wind-power leases today provide for similar royalties based on revenue, Ferrell says — typically 3-5% of gross earnings. The contract should clearly spell out how your payment will be calculated.

October 14, 2021 9:52 am

Big pharma
Big green

It’s only a scam if you’re not in on it.

Bruce of Newcastle
Bruce of Newcastle
October 14, 2021 10:16 am

As is often the case with pie-in-the-sky project proposals the capital cost of off shore windfarms turned out to much higher than planned, their lifetimes have been about half that expected and the maintenance costs massively higher than expected.

The pictures of windfarm operators deicing the giant blades using helicopters and steam spraying are amusing. The amount of fuel they have to go through must be immense. They have to be deiced even offshore since ice build up can cause the turbine to disintegrate, such are the forces on the blades if unbalanced.

It’s amusing that the Left has learned exactly nothing:

[Biden] Administration Sets Plan for 7 Offshore Wind Farms by 2025 (13 Oct)

The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it will help develop up to seven offshore wind farms on the East and West coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico as it moves to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030

Good luck with that especially on the East coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. The wind turbines on Puerto Rico looked very sad after Hurricane Maria.

October 14, 2021 10:26 am

October 14, 2021 at 9:42 am

So no wonder Charlie is out spruiking climate change. A princely profit for the royals and the administration of the crown lands. All paid for by British energy consumers and the tax payers with the subsidy hoovers getting a goodly portion. Yes, a great scam!

October 14, 2021 10:48 am

I always thought that the intent of renewables was to get rid of jobs, not create them.

October 14, 2021 11:21 am

In his glittering green future, offshore wind alone would generate ‘up to 70,000 jobs by 2020’.

jobs to clean up the mess

Boambee John
Boambee John
October 14, 2021 12:07 pm

In his glittering green future, offshore wind alone would generate ‘up to 70,000 jobs by 2020’.

Written by an extreme pedant. If even one job is created, it satisfies the “up to” statement. Nowhere did they say “around” or “nearly”, just “up to”.

Miss Anthropist
Miss Anthropist
October 14, 2021 12:31 pm

Solar Power!
Keeps me tanned. And helps the wind power on washing days.

Texas Jack
Texas Jack
October 14, 2021 2:44 pm

A great deal rests in Barnaby Joyce’s hands this week, including his principles. Does he commit himself and his team to spruiking Morrison’s “new energy economy” mantras, or does he hold the line? How exactly do you get guys like Matt Canavan to campaign like they’re Greta Thunberg’s children?

If Barnaby is smart he’ll realise that Morrison’s goose is already cooked and that ScoMo doesn’t have two miracle election wins in him. With that he should also realise it is (always) better for the National Party to stand on their principles and hold regional seats whether Morrison squeaks over the line or not. If Morrison manages to hold or hang a hung parliament, the National’s position is stronger.

October 14, 2021 11:12 pm

If blue is what has been, and will be, lost, and yellow represents the technology as it stands now, I’d say we are headed for a turquoise, rather than a ‘green’ future.

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