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270 Job Losses At Generator Manufacturer Due To Subsidised Renewable Energy

February 5, 2018

By Paul Homewood



The Loughborough Echo brings news of job losses at The Brush Group, a manufacturer of power generation products:



LOUGHBOROUGH MP Nicky Morgan has said that jobs being cut at the Brush is a “big loss” for Loughborough.

The MP said that the priority is now making sure that the correct support is in place for staff.

She told the Echo: “It’s very sad news and it will be a big loss for the town.

“Brush is an iconic Loughborough company and the first priority is the workforce who need to know what is happening.

“It is all the other people that are affected too.”

She said that it is a bit like when AstraZeneca – the pharmaceutical company – first announced that it would be cutting jobs in Loughborough.

She added: “Many many people have worked there and to see it in difficult or changing times, it is going to be very difficult for all of Loughborough.”

She said that it is “very important” that staff get all the support that they need.

Mrs Morgan said that she had been sent a letter to her office from Brush and that it said that it was still reaching a conclusion and that people were being told to come back to work on Monday for an update.

When asked if she thought that the job losses could be due to Brexit, she said: “I think it is too early to speculate, the first concern is the employees and supporting their future.”

This morning (Thursday, February 1) around 270 Loughborough Brush Generator shop floor workers were told to go home.

The Echo was told that an announcement was made at around 10am and the newspaper spoke to workers as they made their way back home over the Meadow Lane and Nottingham Road bridges.

The company released a statement earlier that said:

“The Brush Group, a manufacturer of power generation products, intends to restructure its generator manufacturing capacity as a result of the continued deterioration of the power generation market and a subsequent decline in demand.

“The company has entered into consultation with its workforce about the future of its 2-pole turbo-generator production at its Loughborough site.

“The consultations will affect up to 270 positions in Loughborough out of a total UK workforce of 790.

“Traditional power markets have seen a significant decline in recent years, driven by the overall growth in renewables. This has led to a fall in demand for the company’s generators and a substantial overcapacity in global generator manufacturing.

“Sales at Brush peaked in 2012 at 208 units, dwindling to 70 sales in 2017. Of the 2017 sales, a mere 21 were built in Loughborough.

“The other activities at the Loughborough site, including the transformer manufacturing business, as well as its other facilities in Wales and Derbyshire, will be unaffected following the turbo-generator restructuring.

“The Loughborough site will also maintain an engineering team and R&D capabilities.”

Chris Abbott, CEO of Brush said: “The simple fact is that our 2-pole operation has a critical shortage of orders. The market has seen a major structural shift and we have suffered as a result.

“We must therefore consult on the need to reduce our manufacturing capacity in order to safeguard the long term future of Brush and protect the legacy of one of Britain’s longest established manufacturing businesses.

“We will do our utmost to ensure that the affected employees are supported to the best of our ability and that we find the most favourable outcomes for all concerned.”

Chris Abbott added: “Loughborough nevertheless remains at the heart of our after-market operations, which are flourishing, and the Transformers unit, which is also performing well.

“We will also continue to focus upon innovative solutions with investment in our engineering, research and product development presence at Loughborough – where we have a real leadership edge.” 



Nicky Morgan is being grossly dishonest when she refuses to rule out Brexit as a factor. She knows full well that it is the decline in traditional power markets that is responsible, just as the company statement explains.

She also knows full well that it is climate policies, not least the UK’s Climate Change Act, that have caused this decline, by heavily subsidising renewable energy. As an MP and Minister who has consistently supported successive governments’ policies in this area, she bears her own share of responsibility for these job losses.

It is also ironic that many of the problems facing Brush have been caused by the EU as well, an organisation that Morgan is so desperate that we don’t leave.


It is a sad fact of economic life that job losses occur all the time. But it is doubly galling when they are the result of subsidised competition.

  1. Jack Broughton permalink
    February 5, 2018 2:13 pm

    The hundreds of windmills that we import / have imported from Germany and Denmark use generators that are from those countries: exporting jobs as noted and suffered by Brush and others.

    Hypocrisy and humbug and use of easy excuses!

    • February 5, 2018 3:33 pm

      When I looked into the components going into constructing offshore wind farms, I discovered that the great majority of the components and construction equipment are manufactured overseas (in fact from around the world). Successive governments have been complicit in turning what used to be one of the world’s greatest manufacturing countries into a country that manufactures very little and imports most of its manufactured goods.

  2. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 5, 2018 2:21 pm

    The hypocrisy about “jobs” fro all is breathtaking.

    Our “elites” (on both sides of politics) don’t care about the people who are employed making plastic bags or plastic packaging, nor coal miners or power station workers either. But a few people who might be out of work because of Brexit means anybody who voted Leave is an economic illiterate who doesn’t care.

    • Sharpshooter permalink
      February 6, 2018 7:22 am

      Massive non-sequitur from an economic illiterate!

  3. A C Osborn permalink
    February 5, 2018 2:26 pm

    Classic Political lying by omission.
    She should be called out in Parliament over this, but virtually no chance of that happening.

  4. Derek Buxton permalink
    February 5, 2018 3:24 pm

    I find it odd that our politicians are so out of touch with the way things work. We once had a thriving industrial sector but successive governments did stupid things, like passing the Climate Change Act. Since then industry has gone elsewhere, not surprisingly, but then our government knows nought of business or industry and care even less. However, are we not
    short of generating capacity thanks to the CCA and of all people the “National Grid?” The latter seems to have been taken over by the green blob. How could that happen, we had the best grid, a model for the world……once, now junk standard!

    • February 5, 2018 3:36 pm

      The purpose of National Grid is to maximise profits for its shareholders. It can do that by constructing and reinforcing the grid necessary to attach renewables and also by ensuring that there is a shortage of electricity supply. Ofgem and the government have been complicit in creating this situation.

      • jim permalink
        February 5, 2018 4:07 pm

        Quite right. Change the regulatory parameters of National Grid and you would get a completely different picture. This mess is not an accident, its by design, a design rotten to the core, but nevertheless a design.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      February 5, 2018 7:11 pm

      Derek Buxton
      The decline in manufacturing was well underway long before the Climate Change Act, in fact what little was left survived remarkably in the circumstances. Manufacturing as %age of GDP in UK
      1970 30%,
      1980 22%,
      1990 17.3%,
      2008 (CCA) 10.1%,
      20016 10.1%
      British manufacturing faced a perfect storm of militant unions (1970-80), ineffective management (1950-present) and, in my opinion, Mrs Thatcher and her battle with the NUM in particular and unions in general (1980-1990) using legislation and high interest rates and high inflation. I fully accept that others can supply equally good reasons for this decline. but the passing of the CCA cannot be blamed.

      • Jack Broughton permalink
        February 5, 2018 8:18 pm

        Agree with everything you say. The added factor related to Brush etc is that the UK have imported products from all over that the UK used to make and export. The paper and steel industries were decimated by selling them (France then Holland / Germany) then we imported the products from the countries that closed these industries to save their industries: windmills/ paper/ power stations and incinerators come to mind immediately. Exported 600,000 jobs at a cost of £11b plus in imported goods: balance of payments anyone??

      • A C Osborn permalink
        February 6, 2018 12:02 pm

        The “Ineffective Management” is still prevelent today.
        Tata Steel is a classic example, some of their management are totally inept and couldn’t run a piss up in a brewery.
        Corrilian is another classic example along with Eastern Trains.

  5. dave permalink
    February 5, 2018 5:35 pm

    Nicky Morgan.

    ANOTHER ineffably stupid product of Oxford U and D Cameron’s intellectual loins.

    • dave permalink
      February 5, 2018 7:02 pm

      In the real world…

      the modest La Nina continues to show:


      tropical cyclone acivity starts the year 2018 as it ended 2017, namely as rather weak:

  6. Philip permalink
    February 5, 2018 6:23 pm

    Not everyone in Greater Manchester believes you as the Big Clean Switch shows!

    • February 5, 2018 6:58 pm

      I believe the OBR!!

      What the likes of Big Clean Switch don’t tell you is that wind and solar farms receive subsidies, which are then added to everybody’s bills. So when they buy in power from say a wind farm, they are not paying the full cost.

      • A C Osborn permalink
        February 6, 2018 12:08 pm

        Paul, another classic case of what happens when Subsidies are removed.

        Quote ” just 99 electric cars were registered in Hong Kong over the last nine months of 2017″

      • Gerry, England permalink
        February 6, 2018 1:58 pm

        As I approach the end of my energy contracts I came across Bulb Energy who claim to supply 100% renewable electricity. If I could be bothered I would ask them to prove this. Using it in an advert – if they did – would be worthy of reporting to the ASA. For a laugh I proceeded to get a quote and got a wonderful result Saying ‘Going Green will….cost you £89 a year’ I was surprised at how low the difference was as when I tried one before it was £400 more.

  7. Athelstan permalink
    February 6, 2018 8:34 am

    I will not use ad hom, I am sure that someone somewhere thinks the world of dear Nicky.

    What I do find astonishing is the disconnect, the link is not made in the minds of so many of our MPs – that, the green agenda will, has, consequences – in the real world.

    When the lights go out, will they be able to switch on the circuits breakers of their brain and just ponder on, actually why the lights did go out and then think on of the awful greater dimming of the prospects of Britain’s only wealth creator – the industrial and manufacturing base of the nation.

    It’s not just Nicky’s fault but really dear, you do need to find your thinking cap and start putting it back on.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      February 6, 2018 1:53 pm

      ‘brain’ ‘thinking’ ‘MP’ Not words I would ever connect together.

  8. Colin permalink
    February 6, 2018 9:27 am

    When we have rolling black outs amidst picture postcard snow scenes, the cry will go up “build proper power stations!”, unfortunately by this time we won’t have the capability to do so.

  9. dennisambler permalink
    February 6, 2018 10:47 am

    In the meantime they are throwing yet more of our money down the CCS black hole:

    “In October 2017, the government announced its new approach to carbon capture, usage and storage in the Clean Growth Strategy.

    The new approach is designed to enable the UK to become a global technology leader for CCUS and ensure that government has the option of deploying CCUS at scale during the 2030s, subject to costs coming down sufficiently.

    To progress this ambition, the government has set out action under 3 themes:

    Re-affirming our commitment to deploying CCUS in the UK subject to cost reduction
    International collaboration on CCUS
    CCUS innovation”

  10. dennisambler permalink
    February 6, 2018 11:07 am

    An interesting, amusing and very pertinent piece from Paul Mathews at Cliscep.

    I didn’t realise the Dutch were also burning US forests.

  11. dave permalink
    February 6, 2018 11:07 am

    “To progess this ambition…”

    A better ambition would be to learn to think and write in Standard English…

  12. Gerry, England permalink
    February 6, 2018 2:01 pm

    More proof that green jobs kill off real jobs that don’t need taxpayers’ cash to exist and generate tax revenue.

    Sadly for Brush, Brexit job losses are still to come once May’s dumb policy to leave the Single Market is delivered.

  13. Philip permalink
    February 6, 2018 3:37 pm

    I suggested to the Greater Manchester Big Clean Switch that all was not as rosy as suggested.

    Here’s the reply:

    Thanks for your email Philip.

    It’s absolutely true that transitioning to a low carbon, low-air-pollution economy will cost money. It is also true that ultimately, this will be paid for by UK taxpayers –through subsidies, charges on bills, etc.

    This is not, however, the whole picture.

    The falling cost of generating renewable power

    Whilst the cost of extracting, processing and burning fossil fuels is certain to rise as they become harder to harder to reach, the cost of renewables is falling rapidly as the industry reaches scale. Against nuclear, too, renewables make sense from a price perspective. Indeed, the cost of the energy from scheduled offshore windfarms will be significantly below that for new nuclear power stations.

    The high cost of continued use of fossil fuels

    Just as it is true that moving away from fossil fuels will cost us money, so it is true that staying with them will cost us. Even if you ignore the overwhelming evidence that man-made climate change is already fundamentally changing our weather systems, there remains the fact that fossil fuels are essentially finite, and so inevitably will cost more and more to extract, from ever more inhospitable places. If you factor in the cost of the environmental damage caused by fossil fuels – in terms of pollution, sea level rise, supply chain volatility, mass migration, species loss, biodiversity loss, disease control, etc – the net impact on UK household finances will be far worse if we stick to our current carbon-intensive energy system.

    Energy independence

    The UK is well suited to renewables, whether that’s wind, water or solar. This gives us an opportunity to grow an energy system that is independent from fluctuating fossil fuel prices, and to keep more of the money we pay for our power here in the UK, generating jobs and encouraging inward investment. You may be right that the withdrawal of subsidies has made life very hard for some firms (we could probably argue for some time about whether that withdrawal has been premature), but the fact remains that renewables are a huge opportunity for the UK economy. I would much rather we positioned ourselves at the forefront of what is essentially a second, global industrial revolution – as we were pioneers of the first – than looked backwards towards a dirty, expensive and dying industry.

    Hopefully this provides a bit more explanation about why renewable power makes sense economically as well as environmentally.

    Best wishes


    • Gerry, England permalink
      February 7, 2018 2:04 pm

      I hope your response back will be ‘No, it doesn’t.’

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