Brits Biggest Losers: China Biggest Winner From Boris Johnson’s £50bn Wind Power Plan
Offshoring jobs and lining the pockets of foreign wind turbine makers is part and parcel of Britain’s giant wind power scam.
Boris Johnson’s plan to squander a further £50,000,000,000 on subsidies and over-the-market contracts for intermittent offshore wind power is positively bonkers.
At a time when Britain needs all the help it can get to claw itself out of its self-inflicted lockdown recession, its PM is determined to snuff out all hope, thanks to a maniacal obsession with unreliable, weather-dependent power generation.
With Brits suffering from an even more brutal and extended economic lockdown, and with little hope of respite in sight, we thought it worth going back to a couple of stories from November last year to gain an insight into what’s in store for Britain’s growing ranks of unemployed.
Boris Johnson’s green jobs for China
The Global Warming Policy Forum
23 November 2020
According to a report in today’s Times, more than half of the estimated £50bn investment for Boris’s planned offshore wind farm expansion is expected to go to companies overseas. SSE, the report says, opted for manufacturers in Asia, citing lower costs.
The Times reports that the majority of orders for turbines and other equipment is expected to go to foreign, mainly Asian suppliers.
Much of the electric components are no longer made in Britain partly because most firms specialising in heavy electrical equipment closed down or moved abroad 20-30 years ago. It is thus an effect of the long run decline of the manufacturing sector in the UK.
The other factor is that there has been huge shift in the industry manufacturing turbines. 20 years ago there were at least 30 substantial manufacturers with fringe of many small firms. Today there are 3 large international companies – Vestas, Siemens and GE – plus a fringe of Chinese and Indian suppliers, primarily focusing on local markets.
The large companies aren’t going to build new main factories in the UK but they might build final assembly plants as a sop.
Boris Johnson’s green industrial revolution will make energy and thus manufacturing ever more expensive, making what little is left in UK manufacturing even less competitive.
Britain is forecast to miss out on more than half of the £50 billion investment in building offshore wind farms in its waters this decade, with the majority of orders for turbines and other equipment expected to go to factories and suppliers overseas.
A commitment to quadruple UK offshore wind capacity by 2030 was one of the key policy proposals outlined by Boris Johnson in his ten-point plan last week to cut emissions and create jobs. However, government figures predict that only about £20 billion of the investment will go to Britain.
Energy companies are expected to need to invest about £50 billion building new wind farms to hit the 2030 target. Although Britain has two blade factories, in Hull and on the Isle of Wight, many blades and most other big turbine parts are made abroad. Only 29 per cent of the capital investment in recent projects has been in the UK.
UK wind power contract goes overseas
26 November 2020
Monopiles and transition pieces for the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm will be made in Poland and Belgium.
Smulders yard in Hoboken, Belgium
The contract for manufacture and supply of monopiles and transition pieces has gone to Smulders, the Belgian subsidiary of Eiffage Métal, as part of a consortium with Sif (a Dutch company specialised in offshore foundations).
As a result approximately 260,000 tonnes of steelwork for first two phases of the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm project in England will be produced in Smulders’ facilities in Poland and Belgium.
The contract is subject to financial close on the two phases, which is expected soon.
The Dogger Bank wind farm, a joint venture between SSE Renewables and Equinor, will be erected in the North Sea, 130km off from the Yorkshire coast of England. At 3.6 GW, it will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world, and is being developed in three phases: Dogger Bank A, B and C.
The first two phases, Dogger Bank A and B, will require 190 foundations in total. Each foundation comprises a monopile and a transition piece in water depths varying from 18 to 63 metres.
For this contract, Smulders will manufacture the secondary steel of the transition pieces, and will assemble, coat and test the fully equipped transition pieces. Sif will manufacture and supply the monopiles and primary steel for the transition pieces, and marshal all foundation components.
Production in Smulders’ facilities in Poland and Belgium will begin in May 2021. The assembly, which will be done at the Belgian Hoboken facility, is scheduled to last approximately 10 months. The first phase, Dogger Bank A, is expected to be operational in 2023.