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Government’s green jobs boom ‘nothing but hot air’ without facilities to make required wind turbines

14 Dec 2020
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Politicians are parroting familiar fantasy that when taxpayers’ money is invested in renewables, jobs in the UK will automatically follow

GMB, the energy union, says the Government's green jobs boom is ‘nothing but hot air’ unless the UK has the facilities to make the estimated 2,700 wind turbines needed.

In a white paper published this morning Ministers boast of a green economic recovery supporting up to 220,000 UK jobs over the next decade.

But as it stands there are no UK based facilities to build the numbers of giant wind turbines required or a workforce ready or big enough to electrify home heating.

If the Government wants to deliver an additional 30GW of electricity by 2035 in wind - that equates to 2,700 giant wind turbines or 180 turbines and jackets each year, every year, for the next 15 years.

BiFab, a facility to make just eight jackets a year, collapsed into administration this month with both the UK and Scottish Governments claiming state aid rules prevented them saving the company.

Similarly, turning the switch off early on heating homes with green gases like hydrogen would mean disruption for bill payers and job losses in the gas and the wider distribution network.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said:

“Politicians have been parroting the familiar fantasy that when taxpayers’ money is invested in renewables, jobs in the UK will automatically follow.

“That is not the case to date and today’s white paper is no different. The fact is, there is not the slightest prospect of the situation improving unless the scale of historic failure to support UK jobs is acknowledged and urgent counter-measures are put in place.

“GMB is calling for a Taskforce of independent engineers, workers and their representatives, industry and economic experts to go line by line through the plans and modelling and look at how feasible and how much money is needed for these plans to create those jobs promised in local supply chains.

“Politicians need to get real on the UK’s future energy needs - and turning this into UK jobs – or voters will do it for them.”

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