Hollow Promises: Thousands of ‘Green’ Jobs Disappear With Turbine Blade Maker’s Total Flop

It takes a special brand of delusion to swallow the wind industry’s promise of an endless stream of meaningful employment.

Whether you call it a ‘Green New Deal’ or a ‘Great Green Reset’, the promised boom in well-paid and lasting employment turns out to be little more than hot air.

Increase power prices, as with any input cost, and profits inevitably diminish. Meaningful employment depends upon healthy and sustainable profits. So, as any student of that dismal science will readily tell you, any policy that drives up power prices will inevitably drive up unemployment rates. So far, so simple.

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. Jobs that rely on a subsidy in one sector of the economy ordinarily result in a loss of employment elsewhere in the economy.

But that is to consider the effect of energy prices at the macro level. At the micro level, the most significant determinant of whether there’s work to be had with wind turbine makers is whether the subsidies for wind power are sufficient, and sufficiently secure, to create ongoing demand for these things, in the first place.

Any doubt about the scale and longevity of subsidies and turbine makers soon fold.

Siemens Gamesa has been axing hundreds of jobs in Europe and America as the wheels come off the renewable energy gravy train.

And the same travails have struck General Electric, which has just shelved its overly ambitious plans for a giant manufacturing plant that was designed to manufacture giant wind turbine blades, as did a South Korean outfit that had promised to build a plant to make turbine columns. Apparently, the ‘uncertainty’ that surrounds Europe’s wind industry is taking a toll. Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

Teesworks wind turbine blade plant shelved
10 July 2022

Plans for a wind turbine blade plant on Teesside have been shelved after months of uncertainty.

General Electric Renewable Energy (GE) had aimed to open on the former steelworks site at Redcar to supply the Dogger Bank wind farm off the Yorkshire coast.

It was hoped it would create 750 jobs and another 1,500 in the supply chain.

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said the site could still accommodate the firm if it changed its mind.

The news was reported by the Renewable Energy News website, which said GE was “not moving forward with plans for a Teesside facility”.

Uncertainty over the plant emerged late in 2021 when the firm confirmed there were delays to the sign-off of a deal.

It had lined up Teesside to make 350ft (107m) long blades.

Responding to the news, the Conservative mayor said it seemed GE “haven’t been successful enough to secure orders with potential clients, but we continue to stand ready to welcome them on site in the future”.

He added “2,250 well-paid, good quality jobs” were envisaged from a Teesside plant being run by South Korean firm SeAH, which would make monopiles, the steel tubes that are driven into the sea bed.

A Dogger Bank spokesman said it was disappointed GE was “not progressing” with its plans for the blade facility.

GE has been contacted for comment.

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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