Britain’s Economic Nightmare Unfolds: Wind Power Costs Killing Thousands of REAL Jobs

Bill

Bill Shorten: the workers’ worst nightmare.

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A few posts back we focused on the naked malice of Labor’s Bill Shorten – as he derided Joanne Kermond on national television. Joanne is among the many victims of Pacific Hydro’s non-compliant Cape Bridgewater disaster – an outfit owned by Bill’s Labor/Union buddies, which has been defrauding the Commonwealth for nearly 7 years:

Labor’s Bill Shorten Publicly Ridicules Joanne Kermond – a Victim of Pacific Hydro’s Non-Compliant Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm

Pacific Hydro & Acciona’s Acoustic ‘Consultant’ Fakes ‘Compliance’ Reports for Non-Compliant Wind Farms

But, apart from meting out malice and contempt for law-abiding Citizens being denied their common law and human rights, Bill Shorten is also hell-bent on destroying every energy intensive business left in this Country: think mining, mineral processing and manufacturing for a start.

Make no mistake, with its 50% Renewable Energy Target, Labor is determined to kill mining, manufacturing, and industry, stone dead.

As part of its alliance with hard-left nut jobs, the Greens, Labor lurched so far to the loopy left it’s now unrecognisable as the “Workers’ Party”, it once used to be (see our post here).

Worse, its bet on a doubling of the Large-Scale RET reveals an outright hostility to hundreds of thousands of Australian workers – whose employment prospects depend on cheap energy inputs to allow the industries they serve to have any hope of being internationally competitive; and, therefore, being able to survive and provide meaningful employment for generations to come.

The aluminium industry is only one industry, among many, under a direct threat from the LRET, as it stands (see our post here).

As former Nationals Senator for Queensland, Ron Boswell put it:

We can have a carbon price and renewable energy targets or viable manufacturing. We can’t have both” (see our post here).

Even the most basic of economic principle is lost on the ideologues and apparatchiks that front up Labor these days: the “Workers’ Party” has become anything but.

In this post we saw how Labor’s climate change spokesman, Mark Butler was quick to come out swinging in favour of maintaining the ludicrously expensive and utterly pointless LRET.

The LRET has already cost Australian power punters more than $9 billion in RECs – added to their spiralling power bills – since it began in 2001 – and, in its current form, will go on to cost power consumers a further $45 billion in RECs to be issued and added to power bills until the scheme comes to an end in 2031.

Labor’s Treasury spokesman, Chris Bowen and his boss, Bill Shorten – are obviously much more concerned about protecting the $billions invested by their mates running Union Super funds in wind power outfits – like Union heavy, Gary Weaven’s Pac Hydro – outfits that profit from the $billions in RECs that have been channeled via the LRET to wind scammers from struggling power consumers.  These boys are well aware that if the LRET goes they will not only lose their financial shirts, they’ll also lose their ability to control the “game”: in modern politics, money is power.

Which provides explanation enough for Labor’s plans to more than double the LRET; and stymie any efforts to wind it back.

With Union Super funds heavily exposed to wind farm investments – if the LRET is scrapped and the REC price plummets, they’ll lose $billions; and the promised $45 billion subsidy bonanza will evaporate and deny them the opportunity of reaping massive returns at power consumer expense. And any financial loss suffered by (or profit opportunity denied to) a Union Super fund deprives Labor of its ability to fund election campaigns; and much else besides.

As Labor legend, former NSW Premier, Jack Lang pithily put it: “In the race of life, always back self-interest; at least you know it’s trying”.

So, with $billions to be lost or made on wind farm investments, the chances of Labor ever agreeing to cuts in the LRET are slimmer than a German super model; whereas, its interests are now permanently wedded to ramping up the scale of the single largest industry subsidy scheme in the history of the Commonwealth.

While the (newly acquired) Green heart of Labor is guiding its bloody-minded pursuit of a 50% LRET, its lapse of policy reason will come back to bite it with a vengeance in the not too distant future.

Greg Hunt’s 33,000 GWh LRET (the equivalent of a 25% target) will inevitably wreck a whole raft of jobs in energy intensive industries like mining, mineral processing and manufacturing (see our post here). Whereas, Labor’s 50% target will kill those types of industries in their entirety – along with tens of thousands of jobs – quicker than arsenic.

But don’t just take our word for it.

In a cooking show “here’s one we’ve prepared earlier” moment, let’s take a look at Britain – where the cost of throwing £billions in subsidies at wind power has seen power prices for energy intensive industries skyrocket, with those industries being forced out of business; killing thousands of jobs in the bargain.

Tata Steel to axe 1,200 jobs in the UK
The Guardian
Karl West and Terry Macalister
17 October 2015

One in three staff at 151-year-old mill in Lincolnshire to lose jobs with redundancies also planned at two plants in Scotland

Britain’s biggest steelmaker is set to deal a new blow to the industry by axing up to 1,200 jobs at a plant in Scunthorpe and at two sites in Scotland.

A widening of the crisis in the industry came as Sajid Javid, the business secretary, promised to try to help competitiveness when he oversaw an emergency national steel summit in Rotherham, West Yorkshire.

Tata Steel UK, which owns the rump of the former British Steel group, is expected to announce the Scunthorpe job losses next week. These redundancies will add to Tata’s own earlier cuts and to the recent collapse of the Redcar steelworks on Teesside. SSI UK, owned by Thailand’s Sahaviriya Steel Industries, went into liquidation earlier this month with the loss of 2,200 jobs after its owner said it could no longer sustain mounting losses.

An industry source said the latest jobs cull at Tata, which includes the Dalzell and Clydebridge sites in Scotland – would be followed by further cuts across the company’s long products division, which makes steel for the rail and construction industries.

It is thought Tata, the Indian conglomerate that also owns Jaguar Land Rover and Tetley Tea, is also preparing to cut several hundred roles in operations that serve the Scunthorpe plant, mainly at its Rotherham site.

However, sources suggested that if current market conditions prevail, Tata executives may opt to wind down the Scunthorpe operation over the next few years.

One source said: “[Tata Steel] really want to shut Scunthorpe; they want to get out of long products because to make that sort of steel in England is uncompetitive.”

Tata employs 3,000 people at the Scunthorpe site, with hundreds more in satellite operations within the long products division.

The 151-year-old Scunthorpe plant has been on the endangered list ever since August, when Gary Klesch, the billionaire industrialist who owns the Klesch group of global industrial commodities, walked away from a deal to buy the lossmaking mill.

Britain’s steel industry has been battered by a toxic cocktail of cheap Chinese competition, high energy costs, a strong pound and slowing demand.

CBI director general John Cridland described the job losses in Scunthorpe as devastating and said the government should work with business to develop a long-term industrial strategy.

Javid said the government, which has been criticised for not intervening earlier, would set up working groups chaired by ministers which would look at how to win more contracts, learn from foreign competitors and make UK companies more competitive.

“There is no straightforward solution to the complex global challenges facing the steel industry. But today was an important opportunity to bring the key players together and we now have a framework of action,” he said.

“The government is committed to working closely with industry on both short-term and long-term issues and to doing everything we can to support both industry and the workers. A strong economy underpins everything and we will continue to focus on securing the UKs economic recovery across the UK.”

Losses at the country’s biggest steelmaker doubled last year to £768m. Tata has responded by slashing jobs, mothballing the Llanwern works near Newport, South Wales, and embarking on the failed attempt to sell the Scunthorpe mill.

Tata’s Rotherham site operates within the steelmaker’s long products division and specialises in making high-grade steels for the automotive, aerospace and civil engineering sectors.

Tata Steel UK said: “Our Long Products Europe business is working with employees and their trade union representatives on a programme to develop a future for the business. The economic conditions affecting the UK steel industry are well known. We are dealing with surging, and often unfairly traded, imports compounded by a strong pound and unhelpful policy costs.”

The plight of Scunthorpe comes as union leaders called on ministers to take “concrete and positive” action to save Britain’s steel industry at a crisis summit.

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of Community, which represents the majority of those affected, said: “We’ll be seeking further discussions with Tata Steel to understand the full detail, examine alternatives that may safeguard jobs and uphold our principle of opposing compulsory redundancies.”

The gathering of ministers and business and union leaders was called following the closure of SSI’s plant in Redcar.

Previously the government had shrugged off calls to intervene. Ministers acknowledge the industry faces terrible headwinds, but warn there is no magic bullet to solve these problems.

The TUC said it was worried that the government was doing too little too late. Commenting on the potential Tata redundancies, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“This would be a hammer-blow for British steel-making and manufacturing in the UK. Ministers have been far too slow to wake-up to the crisis facing heavy industry in Britain. Today’s crisis summit should have happened months ago not at the eleventh hour.”
The Guardian

The-Guardian-logo1

The Wind Industry’s Guardian.

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Now, while The Guardian notes that “Britain’s steel industry has been battered by …  high energy costs“, it doesn’t spill much ink on just what those costs are by comparison with countries that haven’t signed economic suicide pacts – like Britain and Australia; or on precisely why they skyrocketed to industry crushing levels, in the first place.

Oh no, no mention from The Guardian of the massive costs of endless wind power subsidies; the costs of peaking power; and paying generators to maintain spinning reserve, to keep the grid from collapsing every time the wind stops blowing. But, we wouldn’t expect much from the wind industry’s favourite mouthpiece:

The Guardian Caught Out Pumping Dale Vince’s Bogus Wind Power Propaganda

No, unveiling the wind power ‘elephant-in-the-room’ is left to others, with a real interest in actually representing tens of thousands of their newly redundant compatriots. Here they are.

Government comes under increasing pressure to scrap green charges as Redcar steel plant closure sparks outburst
Daily Mail
Peter Campbell
29 September 2015

The Government is coming under increasing pressure to scrap green charges that contributed to the closure of the Redcar plant.

The Teesside site, which has produced steel for 160 years, will be mothballed with the loss of 1,700 jobs, its Thai owners SSI UK announced yesterday.

Another 4,000 jobs are expected to be lost among contractors on the site and in the supply chain.

Unions called the move ‘devastating’. SSI said there was no other option but to shut the site after steel prices halved.

Production was halted earlier this month while the Thai group reviewed its options.

Yesterday trade body UK Steel called on ministers to remove hefty green charges that steel plant owners are forced to pay on top of their electricity bills.

Under climate change rules, factories must source part of their power from renewable sources, which are more expensive.

The industry estimates this adds £8 to the cost of a ton of steel – a cost that is bearable when prices are high, but ruinous now they are lower than £200 a ton.

Gareth Stace, director of UK Steel, said: ‘Sympathy and warm words are welcome, but ministers must now get behind British steel and deliver the support that we urgently need.’

He called on the Government to ‘create a level playing field for British steel by fully compensating the industry for the high cost of electricity caused by the imposition of climate change policies’.
Daily Mail

redcar closure

More victims of Britain’s completely avoidable wind power debacle.

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UK Steel Crisis: GWPF Calls On Government To Scrap Carbon Floor Price
Global Warming Policy Forum
30 September 2015

The Global Warming Policy Forum is calling on the Government to scrap Britain’s unilateral Carbon Floor Price which is contributing to the crisis of UK steel and other energy intensive industries.

SSI’s decision to close its steel plant in Redcar – which is expected to result in 1,700 job losses – has led to the Government setting up a steel summit.

Along with substantial falls in steel prices, the UK’s uncompetitive electricity prices have been a contributing factor to the closure of the plant in Redcar.

The GWPF has been consistently warning about the rising policy cost of electricity prices which are expected to increase by 47% by 2020 for large industrial energy consumers. The UK’s extra large users of electricity are already paying nearly twice as much for power as the EU average.

EU electricity prices

Responding to SSI’s decision to close the steel plant in Redcar, GWPF director Dr Benny Peiser said:

“Energy intensive industries – including UK steel – are facing a growing competitiveness crisis. Britain’s unilateral climate policies are racking up electricity prices and are adding to the cost burden.

“Government policies to compensate the steel industry for high electricity prices are merely a sticking plaster, and do not solve the issue of competitiveness in the long term.

“The Government should consider scrapping the Carbon Price Floor that is hitting UK manufacturers. They also need to bear down on the growing costs of renewable energy subsidies.”

Climate policy impact

Note: The Carbon Floor Price is a unilateral carbon tax that came into effect on 1 April 2013 at a floor price of £16 per tCO2. It will rise to £18 per tCO2 from 2016-20.
GWPF

depression

Don’t look to Greg Hunt, and you can forget about Bill Shorten …

About stopthesethings

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

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