Friday, 8 January 2010

British Jobs for British Workers? Again?

Remember Gordon Brown's "British Jobs for British Workers" soundbite that bit him in the arse? I'm sure you do. Well, we now have another stab at the rhetoric. This time its "green energy jobs for british workers". This time its just as disingenuous.

I'm in my mid 40s and have a crap short-term memory, but even I can remember that the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight closed last year, due to lack of demand in the UK. Even I know that the government refused to intervene, thereby casting aside British green energy jobs. Even I know that any jobs created by the offshore wind farms will be mainly foreign. Even I know that even though thousands of wind turbines will be planted offshore, it'll still only generate a fraction of the energy required by the country.

We all know that the turbines will be built abroad, the installation engineers will come from abroad, the company contracted to service the wind turbines will be owned by a foreign parent company, as will the company contracted to lay the power lines. Even the generating and distribution companies comissioning all of this will be owned by foreign parent companies. So where exactly are all those British jobs going to come from?

A far better way of spending the money would be to give 100 percent grants to people to insulate their homes and fit energy saving lighting. That way we cut consumption, rather than attempt to keep up with current consumption with green alternatives. This is especially true of the rented sector, where there is no incentive for landlords to reduce costs as they don't pay the energy bills and tenants don't want to spend money doing up a property that isn't theirs. By reducing demand, we reduce the corresponding generating requirement. We also gain security of supply, because we rely less on outside sources of energy.

But hey, thats too sensible for government and all their vested interests.

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