Fwd: [London] Miliband's response re Vestas wind turbine factory
marknbarrett at googlemail.com
Sun Jul 26 18:48:55 BST 2009
At 13:23 2009.07.26, you forwarded from Ed Miliband:
> I am very sorry for the people who are losing their jobs. ...
> The factory makes a different sized blade to the ones used in Britain, ...
> they are not at the current time converting the Isle of Wight site to make turbines for the British market.
> ... we are reforming the planning rules and are arguing strongly that people need to see climate change as a bigger threat ...
> In the end, making sure the transition happens as quickly as possible will need government action, ...
Comforting, I'm sure, to know that Ed is sorry. And no
argument that government action is required. Why then is Ed not
working to convert the Isle of Wight to build turbines for Britain?
Mark has just forwarded links to two articles: one in the
Sunday Times by Charles Clover, [formerly of the Telegraph], which
> It frankly beggars belief that his department is still dabbling with pilot projects and holding a consultation this autumn on how best to deliver “whole-house” energy saving treatments. For it is clear what must be done – and has been since privatisation 20 years ago. The utilities must be given the incentive to sell energy “services” – heat and light produced as efficiently as possible – and not raw energy. You tell them, as the state of California did, that they can base their turnover on, say, 100% of energy sales this year, but next year it will have to be 90%. They will have to make up the difference by using their heads.
> The companies don’t want to do it and they never have. But it is Miliband’s job to make them. I will know when he has succeeded: it will be when I get three competing offers to relag my loft and install my solar roof.
If Ed can't persuade the energy companies to do this, he could
cut out the middle man and renationalise them to work in the [global]
public interest. Even threatening to do this might help focus their
Here are the articles:
The energy war is being lost on the home front
End of Holocene, beginnning of Anthropocene - the future is in our hands
And here is letter from Miliband
Please see below a response from Miliband (to an email from Food not Fuel)
about the Vestas factory in Isle of Wight.
Ealing Green Party
From: _Miliband, Ed (DECC)_ (mailto:Ed.Miliband at decc.gsi.gov.uk)
Sent: Friday, July 24, 2009 3:09 PM
Subject: Thank you for your email
Thank you for your email about the Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight.
I am very sorry for the people who are losing their jobs. When I met the
Vestas management a few months ago, to see how we could help, and when I
have spoken to them since then, I have wanted to do all I can to try to find a
solution that could help the workforce.
Vestas have repeatedly told us that offers of government subsidy were not
the issue for them. The factory makes a different sized blade to the ones
used in Britain, so each one it makes is shipped to the US. They wanted to
have their production in America to cut some of that journey.
As part of global reductions in their workforce, they are not at the
current time converting the Isle of Wight site to make turbines for the British
Their biggest difficulty is with planning objections to onshore wind
turbines, which have slowed down the growth in the UK market. That is
why we are
reforming the planning rules and are arguing strongly that people need to
see climate change as a bigger threat to the countryside than the wind
Vestas are keeping a prototype facility at the factory on the Isle of
Wight and we are currently considering an application from them for support of
an offshore blade testing and development facility, which will employ 150
people initially, and is expected to grow in the future.
Government policy is having a positive effect. Next year alone, the
renewable electricity industry will get £1 billion of support because of
government action, and the amount of power from onshore wind grew by
a third last
year, and the amount of offshore wind power grew by 67% - so Britain now has
more offshore wind power than any other country in the world.
It is to enhance the prospects for green jobs that we have made available
120 million pounds for offshore wind manufacture in the UK and 60 million
pounds for marine development. Last week I visited a factory in Wales that
employs 800 people and exports solar panels across Europe. The week before I
saw a factory that is producing buses that produce fewer emissions,
helping climate change and local air quality. Research suggest there could be
half a million jobs in renewable energy by 2020.
I believe that to be ready to pursue these opportunities, we must invest
in the skills, research, and the infrastructure to help clean energy
companies grow – and we are making those investments.
There is government action for different industries and areas of the
country, which you can read about at _www.hmg.gov.uk/lowcarbon_
In the end, making sure the transition happens as quickly as possible will
need government action, it will need dynamic companies, and it will also
need us to win arguments around the country that renewable power should have
a bigger role in the country’s future.
Thank you again for writing to me.
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