Great ‘Green’ Jobs Hoax: The Truth Behind the Fake Wind Industry Jobs ‘Bonanza’

South Australia’s wind and solar obsession drove power prices through the roof and whole industries out of business. The state is an economic backwater, critically dependent upon Commonwealth defence spending to maintain a few meaningful jobs building frigates and submarines for the Navy.

And South Australia isn’t the only place in the world where subsidised, intermittent and wholly unreliable wind power has become a proven social and economic disaster. Oh no. The inevitable consequences of trying to run an economy on the whims of the weather are universal.

In this post STT covered a very detailed study from Wisconsin on the effect of rising power prices in subsidies diverted to wind and solar has on real jobs. Based on actual data, not models and assumptions – Wisconsin’s piddling 10% renewable target knocked a $billion hole in annual economic activity; is killing off 10,000 real jobs every year; and, surprise, surprise has failed to deliver any sign of the much vaunted ‘green’ jobs bonanza – long promised by the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers.

Not the first time, and not for the last time, has a Victorian Premier talked up a ‘green’ jobs bonanza, only for the promised employment to vanish like snow in summer.

We’ll start with the propaganda from the deluded Daniel Andrews.

Victorian Labor has been spruiking the Green jobs message at least since 2004 when then Premier Steve Bracks announced the opening of a Vestas blade factory in Portland. It was a hoax back then and it’s no different today, who would lay odds these “full time Green jobs” will last even the three years those Bracks jobs lasted? The mirage of wind industry jobs is a sorry saga that’s been repeated time and again overseas…..

Wind Turbines Bring Manufacturing Jobs to Geelong
Victorian State Government – Media Release
Premier Dan Andrews MP
14 February 2019

Wind power is creating new manufacturing jobs in Geelong with wind turbine components set to be assembled at the former Ford Motor manufacturing site.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio visited the site today to announce that international company Vestas has partnered with local Victorian contractor Marand to build wind turbines for the Berrybank and Dundonnell wind farms.

The facility forms part of the Vestas Renewable Energy Hub (VREH) and will be responsible for the assembly of 100 turbine hubs and 50 drive trains for the 180-megawatt (MW) Berrybank Wind Farm and the 336MW Dundonnell Wind Farm. Full production of these wind turbine parts is expected to start in August.

The VREH will involve investment of approximately $3.5 million and directly employ over 20 employees. The project will train hundreds of local staff in wind turbine maintenance and see wind turbine component assembly in Australia for the first time in over 10 years.

Danish-headquartered Vestas is the world’s largest supplier of wind turbines and has been active in Victoria since 1999. It has been nominated as the preferred supplier of wind turbines for the two projects.

The development of the hub will help Dundonnell Wind Farm and Berrybank Wind Farm deliver on their local content commitment, supporting the Andrews Labor Government’s Victorian Industry Participation Policy.

The two new wind farm developments are supported by the Labor Government’s Victorian Renewable Energy Targets reverse auction.
Victorian State Government

Dan and Lily aka the ‘deluded duo’.

 

Victorian Labor has been spruiking the Green jobs message at least since 2004 when then Premier Steve Bracks announced the opening of a Vestas blade factory in Portland.

It was a hoax back then and it’s no different today, who would lay odds these “full time Green jobs” will last even the three years those Bracks jobs lasted? The mirage of wind industry jobs is a sorry saga that’s been repeated time and again overseas … but how does this usually turn out? We’ll turn over to Bon Shaw who delivered this pointed comment on STT back in March 2015.

Portland Indeed Pays a Cruel Price for the Green Jobs Mirage
STT Comments
Bon Shaw
30 Mar 2015

Keppel Prince announced late last year that it would close its wind division with the loss of 100 jobs, a cruel blow to those who lost their jobs. On the Keppel Prince web site, the company describes its capabilities thus: “Keppel Prince Engineering specialises in the construction, fabrication and maintenance of industrial structures and equipment offering end-to-end solutions across a broad range of industries.”

Since the Victorian, Bracks Labor government long ago embraced policies pandering to the Green Left in order to shore-up failing electoral support, we have seen a succession of ill-considered, empty promises of “Green jobs”. Sadly these jobs were never going to be sustainable or enduring, in fact they were never anything more than “smoke and mirrors”, utterly dependent on ongoing high cost subsidies. This was how Victoria came to be suckered into supporting wind projects with promises such as this one from 2004:

The Age July 7, 2004 – 12:30PM

Victorian Premier Steve Bracks announced the opening of Australia’s largest wind farm project and the construction of a new wind turbine blade factory in Portland, southwest Victoria.

Speaking from Portland, Mr Bracks said the $270 million investment by Australia’s biggest private sector wind power operator, Pacific Hydro Ltd and the $9 million investment by Danish blade manufacturing company Vestas would create more than 400 jobs in the regional centre.

The 195 megawatt (MW) Portland Wind Energy Project features 120 wind turbines on four sites around Portland at Cape Bridgewater, Cape Nelson, Cape Sir William Grant and Yambuk.” (My emphasis)

Premier Steve Bracks with Keppel Prince Engineering manager
Steve Garner (far left) and representatives from Pacific Hydro and Vestas (2004)

But then, just three years later, we read:

“Sarah Wotherspoon, Herald Sun August 23, 2007

A MAJOR international wind turbine manufacturer will close its Victorian plant at the end of the year, saying Australia’s renewable energy sector was not a viable investment.

About 130 jobs will go when Vestas Blades Australia closes its Portland factory in December, 2 1/2 years after it opened.

Vestas Asia-Pacific senior vice-president Jorn Hammer said the Portland venture was no longer profitable.

“It’s not viable for us to make further investments in the Australian market . . . we don’t see the market as big enough in Australia to justify the expense,” he said.

“When we committed to build the factory we believed there was support for the wind industry in Australia, and that has not come through to the extent we anticipated.”” (My emphasis)

In more recent times Keppel Prince also had its expectations of participating in another local renewable power project dashed when the proponent Victorian Wave Partners shelved the project. Keppel Prince had hoped to build power buoys for a proposed $230 million wave power project which had promised 300 construction jobs:

Sean McComish, The Standard July 17, 2014

Plans to build the world’s largest wave power project in Portland have been scrapped.

The $230 million bid to harness the ocean’s currents was dumped this week by Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) and its subsidiary Victorian Wave Partners.

South-west leaders have expressed disappointment at the move, which could have injected millions of dollars in to the local economy.”

Local Portland Liberal MP Denis Napthine, the former State Premier, has shown himself to be a big fan of subsidised wind turbines, at the opening of the large Macarthur Wind Farm located in his electorate he was moved to comment:

I think they (the turbines) are absolutely fantastic

However, as STT has pointed out previously, when approached by rural residents whose health is suffering as a result of exposure to low frequency noise and infra-sound produced by the turbines of that very same Macarthur Wind Farm, Denis Napthine’s sneering response reportedly was:

“Who are you going to vote for? Labour or the Greens? Then you’ll just get more turbines all over the place.”

So with “friends” like the current Daniel Andrews, CFMEU/Green cosy Labor state government (the Andrews government has just cut back the required 2 km setback between wind turbines and residences to 1 km) and a local member who gets all doe-eyed at the sight of wind turbines, it’s quite on the cards the good folk of Portland will be taunted yet again with the mirage of “green” jobs for all.

You’d think with the passing parade of failed “green” job schemes the penny might just have dropped by now with dopey Victorian politicians. Collectively they seem incapable of grasping that international research clearly shows that each subsidised “green” job kills between 2 and 3 jobs in the real (unsubsidised) economy for every subsidised “green” job created.
Stop These Things

Vestas turbines are not the only things that go up in smoke.

 

A subsidy paid to “create” a job in one part of an economy, means that a job (or jobs) will 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.

The Germans have worked out that their dream of “creating” thousands of sustainable “green” jobs was just that: a dream. The hundreds of €billions spent subsidising wind and solar have killed the German’s international competitiveness, with major companies heading to the USA – where power costs are a third of Germany’s (see our post here). And, as renewables subsidies are inevitably wound back, the jobs they “created” 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 rocketed from 8% to 26% – youth unemployment hit 50% in many regions (see our post here). For another take on the Spanish renewables disaster see the study produced by the Institute for Energy Research available here.

Meanwhile ….

Vestas To Close Spanish Wind Turbine Factory Due To Lack Of Demand
Not a Lot of People Know That
Paul Homewood
3 September 2018

The following news release is from Vestas:

To sustain its competitiveness in the growing global market for wind energy, Vestas continuously introduces new products and optimises its global footprint to meet market demand across regions. By doing so, Vestas aims to ensure a competitive product portfolio, economies of scale and continuous optimisation of manufacturing, transportation, and sourcing costs.

Recent market developments have seen a decreasing demand for the 2 MW wind turbine platform in Europe, while the demand for the 4 MW platform in the region can be met by less capacity than currently provided by nacelles factories in Europe and other regions where Vestas recently has established production capacity.

Responding to these market developments and to sustain its competitiveness, Vestas intends to cease production at its assembly factory in León, Spain, affecting all of the factory’s 362 employees. The employees have been informed about the intention to cease production through the local works council and will also receive a letter from Vestas with information on the situation and contact details for further information.

As per Spanish law, Vestas will now initiate negotiations with local works councils for all affected employees. Vestas is exploring opportunities to relocate employees from León to other Vestas manufacturing and service sites in Spain, as well as opportunities outside of Vestas through an outplacement plan. The negotiations are expected to be finalised within 30 days from commencement, as prescribed by Spanish law.

Spain remains a key market to Vestas with more than 4 GW of installed turbines, 6 GW under service and around 2,000 employees as of 30 June 2018. Vestas continues to have a strong local footprint to serve Spanish and international markets, including a generator factory in Viviero and a blades factory in Daimiel where Vestas is investing to set up production of blades for the V150-4.2 MW turbine. Additionally, Vestas also has Service hubs and warehouses, its Mediterranean headquarters in Madrid and a strong local supply chain in Spain.

The financial cost of ceasing production at the assembly factory in Leon will mainly relate to write down of land and buildings. These costs will be booked as special items and will be included in third quarter of 2018.

Hardly a sign of a thriving market!
Not a Lot of People Know That

It’s as if there’s some kind of pattern. Here’s Vestas in ‘action’ in the UK, a few years before.

Wind turbine manufacturing workers occupy company offices
Libcom.org
Editorial
20 July 2009

Workers from the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight who are set to lose their jobs are staging a sit-in protest at the firm’s offices.

Danish company Vestas Windsystems is laying off 625 workers at the end of July, despite rising profits. It said the Newport factory was being closed due to reduced demand for wind turbines in northern Europe.

About 20 people inside the offices in Cowes have vowed to remain there until “somebody listens to us”. They began their protest at about 1930 BST.

Workers and their unions have previously called for government action to preserve jobs at a time when ministers are pledging a commitment to renewable energy.

One protester said: “It is our last-ditch attempt to save the jobs. This is a green industry and the government keep harping on about how much they want to get all these hundreds of thousands of green jobs going. But then they go and close the only wind turbine plant in England. The government offered to give Vestas money to keep it going, but apparently Vestas turned this down. What we would like to see is the government actually taking it over and possibly nationalising it.”

Police officers are in attendance at the protest, which was described as peaceful. No arrests have been made.

The Vestas factory is set to shut at the end of July with the loss of 525 jobs at the blade manufacturing and research plant at Newport, and a further 100 in Southampton.

The news of the job cuts came as the organisation, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines, reported a quarterly sales rise of 59% to 1.11bn euros.

Vestas is one of the largest employers of skilled labour on the island.

A blog supporting the occupation has been set up here:
http://savevestas.wordpress.com/
Libcom.org

When the subsidies disappear, so do all those ‘green’ jobs.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Climate- Science.

  2. Jackie Rovensky says:

    The story about Geelong is so telling when you break it down:
    100 hubs and 50 drive trains with a total of 516 Turbines to be installed at 2 sites – well where are all the other hubs and drives going to be assembled – yes assembled not manufactured
    Then there’s the 20 people DIRECTLY employed exactly where will these 20 directly employed be, in the office and promotions I expect – definitely not out in the assembly points or maintenance, not even in manufacturing as it seems if there is going to be manufactured it will be done by those already employed by the contracting company.
    But they are saying hundreds will be trained in assembly and maintenance. Who will be employing them, it seems not Vesta so are they going to become employees of the company who is going to take on the work for Vesta – if so it’s that company that will have to let them go when the work comes to an end – much as Keppel Prince had to do when Vesta pulled out of Portland. Just visit Portland and look at the main street alone to see just how having Turbines has brought wealth to the people – NOT.
    How many of the hundreds will be trained for maintenance? Does the figure indicate just how much maintenance will be needed on these things? It will no doubt be costly maintenance if you consider the cost of having to bring in big machinery to reach up with spare parts for the nacelles, blades etc.
    How often do they undertake preventative maintenance or do they just do it when something goes wrong?
    If they do preventative maintenance how many people do they need per site and/or per turbine and how often do they conduct preventative maintenance?
    Its time they were called to account for the waffly figures they give and let people know exactly how many will be employed and exactly what work they will be doing. Also what the arrangements are for future employment of workers if and when Vesta decides to shut up shop.
    It can be seen from the Portland and no doubt other places such as the jobs lost at the Isle of White in the UK, experience shows promises of wealth and prosperity for the district is nothing more than a pipedream.

  3. “The VREH will involve investment of approximately $3.5 million and directly employ over 20 employees.”
    Please tell me someone forgot an extra couple of 00 here. 20 jobs is this another labor joke. I am still waiting for the Multifunction Polis, Education revolution, Coding and all the labor party has given Australia is a compulsory indoctrination course in being GAY at our primary schools. You couldn’t possibly even write stuff like this.

  4. Marshall Rosenthal says:

    If you think that all you need to do is plug your electrical device into the wall, you haven’t thought at all about where all that electricity came from. And when the power failures start happening more frequently, who will you call to fix this? And if your job requires you to use a computer, well, then you better have some powerful batteries hooked up to those computers, or just stay home. See how long you can just stay home. Please wake up to the fact that sunshine and breezes can’t keep the lights on, can’t run that computer, can’t charge your mobile telephone, can’t charge those batteries that run your portable PC’s, can’t make the plastic that much or your automobile, your telephone and computer is constructed of,… Please wake up!

  5. This talk about green jobs is just a way to make something positive out of the fact that wind and solar require so much more effort in both materials and man-power than other power sources.

  6. I visited Ararat today. I was shocked at the sheer scale of the current rash of wind farm developments in the area. It is like some kind of plague has enveloped the region.

    A Green Plague!

    And this plague has now spread up the slopes and over the ridge line of The Pyrenees mountains. It is an obscene site to behold. It is like the region is suffering from some psychotic episode in history.

    It is repulsive.

  7. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  8. It’s in our pocket
    Story
    Wakeup people

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