Wind turbines: Vestas scraps Isle of Sheppey plan

 
Wind turbine Danish company Vestas cancelled its plans for a factory on Isle of Sheppey due to lack of orders

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Plans to create 2,000 jobs in one of the most deprived areas of the south east have been abandoned.

Danish company Vestas has scrapped its plan to manufacture wind turbines at a huge new plant on the Isle of Sheppey, saying it hadn't secured enough orders to go ahead.

The news has been met with dismay on the island, where unemployment is more than twice the national average.

There's no doubt it's a blow. Despite the fact this government describes itself as the greenest government ever, the mood music has changed in recent months.

It emerged earlier this month that Chancellor George Osborne would like to cut subsidies for onshore wind farms by 25%.

Industry leaders warned that level of reduction would "kill dead" the development of wind power sites.

Only yesterday Energy Secretary Ed Davey, who is a Liberal Democrat, defended the amount of subsidy put into renewables.

Investor confidence

One thing companies making large investments hate is uncertainty. Flip-flopping on policy is the best way to lose investment and undermine investor confidence.

Given that, I think the Vestas' announcement today is unsurprising.

It made it very clear back in August that without subsidies from the government it would not be building the site which would have seen nearly 2,000 jobs created in Sheppey.

Even the Conservative MP for South Thanet, Laura Sandys, a member of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, has criticised the government.

She said: "Vestas' decision will have been a commercial one; but it also suggests a lack of confidence within the industry over the government's commitment to the green economy and crucially, offshore wind."

She added: "The market needs certainty from government if it is to deliver the thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of investment that could secure our economic recovery."

If the government doesn't firm up its policy on subsidies, soon maybe the last renewable energy company in Britain won't have to put the lights out.

It'll already be dark.

 
Louise Stewart Article written by Louise Stewart Louise Stewart Political editor, South East

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 17.

    Efficiency is different to Load Factor . If you have a 200hp sports car you problably only drive at an average of 30hp , a load factor of 15%. If you don't accept Climate Science, if you think the Russians & middle east will always want to sell us cheap gas & oil, if you think yet another nuclear disaster is imposible, then you might not like Wind Power .

  • rate this
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    Comment number 16.

    Maybe Vestas listened to the white noise of the Heathrow expansion lobby and believed it was too dangerous to build close to the wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery. Who would want to build a factory next to something that we are led to believe could explode any second destroying half the known world?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 15.

    @Bananas, "Not in my local area". Sounds a lot like "Not in my back yard" to me. Simple choice; would you prefer, wind turbines installed there, or a new smokey coal power plant? If people find the new methods of providing a secure energy supply they should try SWITCHING OFF their lights, heating, computers etc a bit more often. Everyone can help with demand side reduction

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 14.

    @ 3 Jim
    "The turbines operate at 30% efficiency.Would you buy a car that delivered only 30% of its alleged output?"

    My car has spent 98% of its life parked Jim, I guess like most other peoples. Thats only 2% utilisation. (Based on actual mileage over 14 years at an average 40mph). I'm not a fan of wind power either but maybe you need to rethink your point.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 13.

    Whilst we are at it, let us also see reports of how all the existing arrays are performing (not just the 4,686MW of capacity that appears on the NETA website).
    Why wouldn't even the wind lobbyists want this information in the public domain?

 

Comments 5 of 17

 

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