Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t mwhite – Siemens has frozen new British wind power projects, until the post Brexit relationship with the European Union is negotiated.
Siemens freezes new UK wind power investment following Brexit vote
German energy firm will not make fresh plans until the UK’s European relationship becomes clearer, but existing manufacturing will not be affected
Siemens is putting new wind power investment plans in the UK on hold due to uncertainty caused by last week’s Brexit vote, the Germany energy company has told the Guardian.
A £310m manufacturing hub in Hull that employs 1,000 people will not be affected by the decision, and should still begin producing blades and assembling turbines next year.
But Siemens, one of the few firms to openly back a Remain vote, will not be making new investments until the future of the UK’s relationship with Europe becomes clearer.
Juergen Maier, the firm’s UK CEO, said that an existing blueprint to export offshore wind turbine machinery from the Hull hub was now up in the air.
He said: “Those plans were only beginning to happen and I expect that they will stall until we can work out exactly what the [new government’s] plan is, how we can participate in EU research programmes, and until all the issues around tariffs and trade have been sorted out.”
It is unclear how much money the EU gave to the Hull project but it has put up £525m for the Beatrice windfarm project in Scotland, whose developer will be a major buyer of the Hull factory’s turbine blades.
The EU is truly losing its grip, if recipients of EU “largesse” reject the EU at the ballot box. The Brexit campaign, and the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), receives some of its strongest support from places like Hull, working class cities which are frequently listed as “deprived”.
Greens often try to paint support for climate policies as a left / right issue, but the truth is far more nuanced. Despite unwavering support for green causes from elite left wing British politicians, the reality is there are plenty of “Reagan Democrats” throughout the world, who are open to persuasion about issues which directly affect their own lives – as UKIP proved with the massive Brexit defections they engineered in places like Hull, some of the most staunchly left wing regions in Britain. Without UKIPs effort to appeal to the left, the Brexit vote would have failed.
I am not suggesting climate was the core issue for most Brexit voters, though I suspect it played a part. It is getting harder to deny the role climate regulations play in high profile heavy industry job losses in working class areas.
Even über green California sometimes suffers a worker’s mutiny against green policies.
To put it another way, people who are one or two paycheques away from homelessness have no time for politicians who promise to make their energy bills skyrocket, if someone makes the effort to offer them an alternative.