I read the article “Unemployment is still an issue” in last week’s issue of The Galloway Gazette with much interest.
First Minister Alex Salmond has promised many jobs relating to the wind industry, but most of these elusive jobs don’t seem to materialise. Many of the jobs are given to specialist and foreign workers who are brought into the region and any local jobs are short-lived. When the wind farms are completed, there are very few job opportunities for local people.
It is interesting to check the effect the wind industry has had on jobs in Spain. Professor Calzada published a study in 2009 that looked at Spain’s experience of employment linked to wind renewables.
He said that for every new position that depends on green subsidies, at least 2.2 jobs in other industries will disappear, and that the loss of jobs could be greater, if account was taken of the amount of lost industry that moves out of the country due to higher energy prices.
Renewable energy is horrendously expensive, and there are serious economic consequences in using so much of our money to create green jobs, when it could be used to create thousands longer-lasting jobs in other sectors of the economy. Green investment is a very ineffective method for job creation, and climate change policies are also very counterproductive to employment and industry.
With the increase in wind farms and government subsidies, the economic effects filter through the system and drive other industries away, especially those that rely heavily on energy to provide jobs and fuel the economy. By creating an extremely expensive energy source, there is a knock-on effect – not only for jobs, but for industry throughout Scotland and the UK.
If companies become less competitive due to sharply increasing energy costs, they are forced to relocate to other countries, where they can effectively run their businesses without the burden of high energy bills.
As a result, we not only lose valuable jobs, but we also end up shifting the emissions to other countries – we may reduce them in Scotland, but they are still a global threat.
Increased carbon taxes and unobtainable carbon reduction targets will inevitably result in ever-increasing energy costs.
The knock-on effect?
Not only do we lose our jobs, but we also lose the industries that drive the economy and create wealth.
I think we are mistaken in thinking that using ineffective and intermittent renewables is going to “save the planet” and reduce our bills.
Instead, it appears it is slowing growth, creating few jobs (at enormous cost), increasing our energy bills to unprecedented levels, forcing companies to relocate to other countries to maintain competitiveness, pushing thousands more into fuel poverty, destroying our landscapes, forcing down house values, and damaging people’s quality of life by building huge turbine sites next to where people live.
To what extent are we willing to sacrifice our livelihood and our quality of life to a questionable climate change and energy policy that is not effective and is leading our country to an unsustainable level of economic sacrifice?
Human ingenuity has a way of meeting new challenges, but wind power is not going to solve our energy problems or significantly reduce our emissions. However, it is going to be a massive waste of our valuable resources and an incalculable economic and social burden to the people of Scotland.