Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Friday, 8 January 2010

More empty windbags

It's reported that :-

Successful bids for nine new offshore wind farm zone licences within UK waters have been announced.

A consortium including Npower and Norway's Statkraft won the licence for the biggest zone, in Dogger Bank, which could produce nine gigawatts of energy.

Turbines in the nine zones could generate up to 32 gigawatts of power, a quarter of the UK's electricity needs.

In September 2008 Mr Brown said that
Today I can announce the approval of a new offshore windfarm, near Walney Island - off the coast of Barrow-in-Furness. At up to 139 turbines, it will be one of the UK’s largest, providing the equivalent of all the homes in Glasgow and Dundee with clean, green electricity - and helping to give the UK the highest operating offshore wind capacity in the world.

Just a teeny little point - wind farms don't do anything when it isn't windy, which is why our power stations are using a heck of a lot of gas just now. The choice of the word "could" by the BBC is much more cautious than Mr Brown's "will".

He said

In Fife alone - there are some 50 companies investing or planning to invest in renewable energy. With projects such as:

  • manufacturing sub-structures for deep water off-shore wind farms;
And if there aren't any wind farms there won't be any need for the sub-structures to support the turbines, so the people of Fife will be out of work, if they aren't already because manufacturing has moved to the continent.

In the same speech to CBI Scotland Mr Brown also said this :-
I am also cautiously optimistic about the long-term resilience and underlying strengths of the British economy
... consider financial services - our biggest industry by value, and now Scotland’s biggest employer
Oops, those things went pear-shaped too!

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