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Wind turbine factory closes

 

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Just when we thought the UK and US Governments’ budgets might have added some stimulus to the UK’s sustainable energy economy, news reaches us that Britain’s only wind turbine manufacturing plant on the Isle of Wight is to shut with the loss of 600 jobs. The plant, owned by Danish firm Vestas, makes blades for windfarms in the US but the chief executive of the plant, Ditlev Engel, blamed a number of factors including the weak pound, a lack of local political intitiatives and a culture of ‘nimbyism’ and inflexible planning regulations in the UK which has meant that the UK wind market had stalled. Elsewhere BP reported a slump in sales of solar panels and that it would cut 620 jobs from its solar energy division in the US and Spain and that solar sales in the first quarter of 2009 were 15MW of power, down from 34MW in the same period in 2008.   Shell has already pulled out of solar, hydro and wind power, no concentrating on biofuels and carbon capture and storage,  Siemens cut 400 jobs from its wind farms in Denmark and Scottish Power owner Iberdrola has cut green investment by a half this year. The Guardian also revealed that one of the UK’s most efficient windfarms, Haverigg on West Cumbria’s ‘energy coast’ was in danger of demolition to make way for a new nuclear power station.

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