Wind turbine factory is a boost to Hull and a boost to UK industry

Where Siemens leads, others will likely follow

Share

There were always two strands to the case for green energy investment. The most obvious focused on  environmental concerns. But the second, no less compelling argument, was an industrial one. Not only does the decarbonisation of Britain’s power supplies offer the tantalising prospect of thousands of “green jobs”; our all-new industrial sector might also get ahead of international rivals and corner a burgeoning global market.

So much for the vision. Amid recession, Treasury belt-tightening and soaring energy bills, enthusiasm for pricey renewable infrastructure lost some of its lustre. The Chancellor in particular, spooked by the scale and cost of Britain’s future energy requirements, has been pushing shale gas and further exploitation of dwindling North Sea hydrocarbons. Meanwhile, successive Budgets have whittled away at green subsidies. Indeed, last week George Osborne set out plans to freeze the carbon-price floor and extend government help for firms struggling to pay renewables levies, prompting despair at yet more proof of the hollowness of David Cameron’s pledge to lead “the greenest government ever”.

Hopes of a green-energy industrial base should not be abandoned, however. Indeed, the British wind sector took a major step forward yesterday with a commitment from Siemens to build a £160m turbine factory and separate installation facility in Hull – creating 1,000 jobs directly and many thousands more in companies that will supply the plants.

The move is unequivocally good news for the Humber region, of course, in the immediate expansion of the local labour market and also in establishing the real prospect of its transformation into the hub of next-generation engineering. After all, where Siemens leads, others will likely follow.

But there is a wider benefit here, too. Renewable energy provokes visceral ire in many on the political right, largely because of assumptions about cost. Evidence that, costly or not, there are tangible economic benefits – of just the kind that our services-heavy economy needs – might help tilt the balance. We can only hope.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ice skating in George Square, Glasgow  

How many Christmas cards have you sent this year?

Simon Kelner
 

Al-Sweady Inquiry: An exercise in greed that blights the lives of brave soldiers

Richard Kemp
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum