Friday, 1 October 2010

Congratulations to Thanet but where's the Green Job revolution we were promised?

Last week, the Thanet offshore wind farm off the coast of Kent officially opened amidst, I'm sure, much back slapping and reminders to the press of how much this project means to UK renewable targets.

However, I'm sure Ministers and officials won't be shouting quite so loudly that less than 20% of the £900 million investment in building the farm has gone to British firms (source: The Guardian).

Let's be frank for a moment - the Thanet project is a mighty achievement in its own right and it will contribute greatly to the UK's overall renewable energies targets.

But when the media is constantly reporting this or that Minister saying that the green revolution will kickstart the british economy and provide thousands of jobs, then I'm sorry but we're going to have to take those sorts of promises with a very large pinch of salt.

Don't forget that the Danish wind turbine manufacturer - Vestas - closed its only UK blade manufacturing unit on the Isle of Wight in 2009. Vestas actually supplied the Thanet turbines.

And the Governments dithering over future offshore wind developments means companies that were lining up to set up manufacturing operations in the UK are now reportedly waiting for signs of a Government commitment before they commit to opening here.

What's your opinion? Is it enough just to be grateful for the investment full stop or should we be demanding more of those investment pounds get spent on UK companies?

photo credit: cogdogblog

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