Boris offshore wind pledge 'hollow words'

In: Windfarms
According to trade union Unite Scotland,  Boris Johnson’s pledges that every UK home will be powered by electricity from offshore wind farms by 2030 and that £160m will be spent on building more wind turbines are ‘hollow words’ under the current UK government (fact check

Unite Scotland also criticised the Prime Minister’s "pledge" to commit 60 per cent of the turbines to be manufactured in the UK as ‘rehashed rhetoric’ following the recommendation by the UK Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) in March 2018 to the UK government that Supply Chain Plans should achieve 60 per cent of life cycle costs to be UK sourced by 2030.

The trade union is still reeling from SSE's decision that the Scottish based firm BiFab had not secured any contract work from the
Seagreen project with all of the platforms for its 114 turbines to be manufactured in China and the United Arab Emirates. This follows on from the criticism of the lack of work awarded to BiFab by EDF for the Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm project, which will consist of 54 turbines. Unite has also repeatedly highlighted the Macrihanish based Wind Turbine company CS Wind, which has been sitting idle November 2019. The yard is the only UK facility manufacturing onshore and offshore wind towers.

Unite Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty, said: “The announcement by the prime minister that the UK will commit to 60 per cent of turbines to be manufactured domestically is rehashed rhetoric. The UK government has repeatedly failed to act on recommendations for years and belatedly adopting this target only serves to highlight their years of inaction and abandonment of the domestic supply chain.”

“The onshore and offshore wind sector in Scotland is on life support. We have the BiFab yards and CS Wind in Campbeltown sitting idle. The prime minister’s pledge is hollow words for these communities. SSE is awarding work everywhere but Scotland. EDF awarding scraps from the table. CS Wind's Korean owners have mothballed its factory. Talk is cheap. We need action and we need that right now. We urgently need the Contracts for Difference Scheme totally reformed to legally ensure that domestic based firms are guaranteed work from the billions of pounds being poured into the on and offshore wind sector. The reality is that the people of Fife, Lewis and Argyll and Bute haven’t seen a penny of it.”

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail commented: “We welcome the prime minister’s conversion to offshore wind farms, but what it reveals is the poverty of ambition compared with France and Germany.

“The spending proposed by Boris Johnson pales into significance with the vast sums that our main European competitors have invested in this sector.

“The commitment for 60 per cent of the turbines to be manufactured in the UK only highlights that much more could have been done to invest in this sector and the jobs boost that would have been created. This was highlighted by the closure of Vestas on the Isle of Wight a decade ago.

“The Johnson rhetoric will turn out to be a mirage without a strong economy, retention of skilled jobs and investment in apprenticeships – and this means that chancellor Rishi Sunak needs to continue to do much more to protect employment as we go through the coronavirus pandemic.”

To assist readers to "fact check" what Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated,  a section from the transcript of his speech today is included in an earlier story

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