UK Subsidising Wind Industry Jobs at £115,000 a Pop & Killing REAL Jobs in the “Bargain”

economics101

Wind farm owners ‘get £115,000 subsidy for UK every job they create’
The Telegraph
Emily Gosden
12 November 2014

Wind industry says record numbers of people employed in the UK – but critics say the subsidy bill has risen even faster

Wind farm developers receive more than £115,000 in subsidy for every person they employ in the UK, new analysis shows.

There are now a record 15,500 people directly employed in the onshore and offshore wind industries in the UK, according to a report released today by wind lobby group Renewable UK.

But the bill for subsidies to wind farm owners is now estimated to be a record £1.8bn a year, according to industry critics the Renewable Energy Foundation – and has risen even faster than the number of “green jobs”.

Last summer the Telegraph disclosed that each job in the industry was effectively subsidised by £100,000 a year, reflecting the 12,000 people Renewable UK said were directly employed at the time, and estimated £1.2bn annual subsidy costs.

The increased subsidy-per-job rate since then reflects first power being generated from new offshore wind farms, which receive far higher subsidies than those onshore.

Yet jobs in the offshore wind industry actually fell slightly over the past year, according to Renewable UK, in anticipation of a slow-down in construction next year.

In total there are now 8,679 people employed in the onshore wind industry and 6,746 in the offshore sector, Renewable UK said. This compares with a total of 9,000 in the entire UK wind industry four years ago.

Ed Davey, the energy secretary, said: “The energy sector is powering Britain’s economic recovery – and the jobs created in the wind industry show why Britain’s the global number one for offshore wind capacity and investment.”

But John Constable, director of REF, said: “Large numbers of soft, subsidised, jobs in the wind energy sector is nothing to boast about; it indicates low productivity and high cost energy, which of course destroys real jobs in the rest of the economy.

“What we really want is a high productivity energy sector with a small number of well-paid, highly skilled employees, producing cheap energy that creates fundamentally viable employment in the rest of the economy.”

Mr Constable’s comments are supported by a report by the Government-funded UK Energy Research Centre which last week said: “In the long-term, if the economy is expected to return to full employment, then ‘job creation’ is not a meaningful concept.

“In this context, high labour intensity is not in itself a desirable quality, and ‘green jobs’ is not a particularly useful prism through which to view the benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency investment. What matters in the long-term is overall economic efficiency.”

Maf Smith, deputy chief executive of Renewable UK, said: “Green jobs are important because they are high-value jobs. But over time it’s clear that the technologies we choose to get our power from we will choose because they are most cost effective and help us tackle climate change.

“You can’t assume the reason we are generating this power is just employment: the main reason we are generating this power is to keep the lights on and make sure we are less dependent on imports. In doing that we also need to maximise economic benefits to the UK.”

He said the effective subsidy cost of green jobs would decrease with time, for example with a new Siemens factory employing 1,000 people in Hull opening in 2016.

“As the industry invests and we see the manufacturing jobs come through the job benefits will be even clearer,” he said.
The Telegraph

British musicians Miss Dynamite and Charlie Simpson join unemployed young people at a job centre

The other side of massive wind industry subsidies.

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If Hull is pinning its future to the “fortunes” of Siemen’s wind power business, it might want to take a peek at the German fan maker’s books. It’s just written off €223million because it’s been producing faulty turbines requiring urgent replacement of bearings and blades – with more of the same to come  (see our post here).

One “justification” put up by the wind industry and its parasites for the social and economic chaos caused by spiralling power costs was the claim that investment in wind power would create a “new” economy with millions of groovy “green” jobs.

No better case study to debunk that myth than Germany, which went into wind power harder and faster than anyone else: the cost of doing so is catching up with a vengeance. The subsidies have been colossal, the impacts on the electricity market chaotic and – contrary to the purpose of the policy – CO2 emissions are rising fast (see our post here).

True it was that Germany saw an increase in renewables related employment – the bulk of it in the development and manufacture of solar panels – but all of it was built on a raft of taxpayer and power consumer subsidies: it was – therefore – economically unsustainable.

Any job that relies on a subsidy results in a loss of employment elsewhere in the economy. In Germany, the subsidies for “green” jobs are paid for in rocketing power prices, which impacts on the profitability and competitiveness of all businesses and industries. German manufacturers – and other energy intensive industries – faced with escalating power bills are set to pack up and head to the USA – where power prices are 1/3 of Germany’s (see our posts here and here and here).

In the result, Germany faces a decline in industrial output and, therefore, declining employment.

And now that the Germans have started to wind back subsidies for renewables (see our post here), the “green” jobs that were built on them are disappearing fast (see our post here).

The renewables subsidy story in Spain is no different. The Spaniards have thrown 100s of billions of euros in subsidies at solar and wind power, and have achieved nothing but economic punishment in return. The much touted promise of thousands of so-called “green” jobs never materialized. No surprises there. Instead, the insane cost of subsidising wind and solar power has killed productive industries, with the general unemployment rate rocketing from 8% to 26% – youth unemployment is nearer to 50% in many regions (see our post here). For an update on the Spanish renewables disaster see the study produced by the Institute for Energy Research available here.

In Spain, just as here, the great bulk of employment in the wind industry involves fleeting construction work (once the turbines are up, there’s nought to do) – of the jobs created:

“two-thirds of which came in construction, fabrication and installation, one quarter in administrative positions, marketing and projects engineering, and just one out of ten jobs has been created at the more permanent level of actual operation and maintenance”.

That the Spaniards had to stump up “subsidies of more than €1 million” to create each wind industry job; that each wind industry job thus created, killed off 2.2 jobs elsewhere in the economy; and that each MW of wind power capacity installed destroyed 4.27 jobs – is nothing short of an economic disaster (see our post here).

In Australia, one of the last-ditch “pitches” being made by the wind industry and its parasites is that winding back the LRET will costs tens of thousands of jobs. Never mind that the wind industry has generated only a handful of permanent jobs in Australia; that the bulk of the jobs created were in fleeting construction work; and that new wind farm construction has more or less ground to a halt: “investment” in the construction of wind farms went from $2.69 billion in 2013 to a piddling $40 million this year (see this article).

The handful of permanent jobs (as well as fleeting construction work) created in Australia’s wind industry were all the product the mandatory Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) issued to wind power generators under it. The REC is a Federal Tax on all Australian power consumers paid as a direct subsidy to wind power outfits.

So far, the REC Tax has cost Australian power consumers around $9 billion and – if the LRET remains – will add a further $50 billion to power bills over the next 17 years (see our post here).

It’s the cost impact on power prices of that massive subsidy stream that has energy intensive industries – like aluminium processing and mining – lining up to ensure that the mandatory LRET gets scrapped now (see our posts here and here). If the LRET is retained in its current form, expect to see more industrial outfits close their doors, killing off real jobs in the thousands (see our posts here and here).

When the “wind industry creates jobs” mantra is being chanted, what the Clean Energy Council and Infigen & Co don’t say is that every single wind industry job “created” depends entirely on the mandatory RET and the RECs issued to wind power outfits under it.

A subsidy – such as the REC – paid to “create” a job in one part of an economy, means that a job (or jobs) will, inevitably, be lost elsewhere. A study by UK Versa Economics found that for every job created in the wind industry 3.7 jobs are lost elsewhere in the UK economy (see our post here).

One Australian study has forecast that the current mandatory RET will kill over 6,000 jobs (see our post here).

The idea of wind industry job “creation” is like robbing Peter to pay Paul, except that the thief has to filch $4 from Peter to end up handing $1 to Paul.

As the Germans, Spaniards and Brits are learning fast, any policy that is unsustainable will, eventually, fail or compel its creators to scrap it. The mandatory LRET is no exception.

So, next time you hear the spin masters from the CEC, Pac Hydro, Infigen & Co railing about changes to the LRET resulting in massive job losses, they’re not talking about real Australian jobs in industry, mining, mineral processing and manufacturing – it’s their own REC subsidy fuelled jobs that they’re worried about (see our posts here and here).

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. The best thing we can do is keep the wind weasel, greentard bastards awake for a week (day and night) and annoy the hell out of them until they see sense, and start living in the real world.

  2. Keith Staff says:

    Having just had a meeting with a new candidate in the Victorian State Election, it became obvious that this person had no idea of the impacts on residents in rural areas of IWEF.
    Had never heard of The Waubra foundation, loss of amenity, the con tricks of Wind energy proponents.

    It’s time for some civil action like a protest March in Melbourne and Sydney.

    We are too nice and considerate.

    Get angry folks and do something.!

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