Skip to content

Outrage as jobs at Scotland’s biggest offshore wind project go to China

December 19, 2019

By Paul Homewood


h/t Adam Gallon


From MSN:



Supply chain jobs at the country’s biggest offshore wind farm project are being lost to China.

Skilled work on Seagreen in the Firth of Forth will be carried out overseas, fuelling criticism of the so-called “green jobs revolution” in Scotland.

Gary Smith, Scotland secretary of the GMB trade union, said: “This would be the death knell for any meaningful offshore wind manufacturing industry in Scotland – an utter scandal and a national disgrace.”

In 2010, the Scottish Government estimated that the offshore wind sector could create 28,000 direct jobs and lead to £7.1billion of investment.

Former First Minister Alex Salmond also claimed the Pentland Firth could become the “Saudi Arabia of marine power”. But Scotland missed out on hundreds of millions of pounds of work to foreign firms in the creation of the £2billion Neart Na Gaoithe offshore wind farm.

Other work on different projects has been lost to Germany, Finland and France.

It has now emerged that the Seagreen project, which could create more than 400 jobs annually and contribute £2billion to the UK economy, is also looking abroad.

Papers seen by the Record show that some of the work will be carried out in China’s Guangdong province.

Seagreen Wind Energy Limited, owned by energy giant SSE, was awarded exclusive development rights for the Firth of Forth Zone.

Smith added: “This is a Scottish renewables project and it is wholly owned by a Scottish energy firm. How can there be any justification for handing its manufacture to the Far East?

“There’s no green jobs revolution, new deal or just transition here. This is what political failure looks like and the credibility of government at Holyrood and Westminster is in tatters.”


We are told that renewable energy will bring hundreds of thousands of green jobs to Britain.

All too often however, the jobs end up being offshore, along with in many cases the subsidies.

  1. December 19, 2019 10:35 am

    Reblogged this on Climate-

  2. JimW permalink
    December 19, 2019 10:45 am

    One of the worst parts of this article is the comment that the project contributes £2bn to the economy. Its a fault of how we measure GDP of course. Breaking a window deliberately and replacing the glass also contributes to the conomy according the expenditure based GDP the oft quoted number. However break glass or building off shore windfarms do the same thing, they lower productivity, because the money invested is wasted and should instead be used for productivity increasing investments.
    Taken to an extreme, the nations GDP can be increased by employing everyone to cut grass with a pair of scissors. Makes about as much sense as investing in useless windfarms.

    • Saighdear permalink
      December 19, 2019 10:53 am

      Yes indeed, .. the gainful employment will keep many engaged in Society …..

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        December 19, 2019 12:27 pm

        I think the Government should ban JCBs as well as ICEs. Give the workers shovels. /s

    • Man at the Back permalink
      December 19, 2019 11:26 am

      “Breaking a window deliberately and replacing the glass also contributes to the economy according the expenditure based GDP”

      Shades of Frederic Bastiat there Jim. And he has been dead 170 years!!

      According to the EU prostitution also increases GDP

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        December 19, 2019 1:26 pm

        I suppose the latter can at least claim to increase the sum of human happiness!

    • December 19, 2019 11:30 am

      “…employing everyone to cut grass with a pair of scissors. “

      Is this the type of economic model you are referring to, John W?

      You have two cows.
      You have 300 people milking them.
      You claim that you have full employment and high bovine productivity.
      You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

      We aren’t yet at step 4, but that’s where this will lead if they aren’t stopped.

      • Saighdear permalink
        December 19, 2019 1:15 pm

        NOPE …. and be nice to the Chinese ( and others – we are here to help others, just dunno what the others are doing )
        Point is tho’ – 2 cows milked, one goose lays golden egg, but in this modern World, we have a Democracy whereby the Producer is paid an increasingly SMALLER SHARE of the value of the end product. Why so many middlemen? Discuss..

      • saparonia permalink
        December 19, 2019 6:36 pm

        Step 4: “You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation”
        – he is sent abroad to suffer punishment after spending some time thinking he’s in a friendly foreign country…

    • Sheri permalink
      December 19, 2019 2:26 pm

      The Chinese had/have high employment because they used people to do this—a bunch of guys with shovels to build roads, etc. It gives full employment and probably works reasonable well when the government controls fully the lives of its subjects. It works poorly in anything other than communism.

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        December 20, 2019 9:34 am

        Again, not quite right. That is actual growth because it is a step up from what they would otherwise be doing – very low productivity work on subsitance farming. Places like China can have very high growth rates because they are moving people out of extremely unproductive labour. It’s much harder to have growth when most people are already pretty productive.

        The fatal error with Green claims is that it is reversing this – moving people from productive jobs to less productive jobs. Mire people producing the same output is a reduction in productivity and wealth.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      December 20, 2019 9:29 am

      That’s not actually right. If everyone was cutting grass with scissors GDP would be a fraction of what it currently is. GDP measures the value added based on the price people are willing to pay for the end consumption. The exception is government spending which is assumed to produce value based on its cost. A project that invested £2 billion but thdm failed to sell a single thing would not add £2 billion to GDP.

  3. December 19, 2019 10:49 am

    This is one of the unintended consequences of politicians making decisions about our future energy supply and heavily subsidising uneconomic and unreliable electricity generators.

    If only we could get sensible engineers back in charge, but it ain’t going to happen.

    • Saighdear permalink
      December 19, 2019 10:58 am

      Nope …and not when you see, as an example, the Land based Engineers engaging in gravy train chasing – don’t seem to relate to CO2 being the plantfood for the plants they claim they want to grow. On the One hand – creating a market for HUGE machinery, whilst investing in Robotics and miniaturisation – to do people OUT OF a Job.
      Global Cooling – seen them Harvesting the Nation’s Cereal Crops in the US, lately? SNOW& frost or soft ground where large machines get bogged…… the Logic ?

    • December 19, 2019 11:17 am

      @ Philip Bratby

      Until you realize those consequences are not “unintended,” but a critical element of their plan, you haven’t “gotten it.”

      • Paul H permalink
        December 19, 2019 11:27 pm

        Exactement! Little happens by chance. Our ruin is pre-planned.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        December 20, 2019 1:49 pm

        No, seriously, they are so stupid that they have no idea of what will happen from their decisions. They are morons. They are blessed that breathing requires no IQ – not such a good outcome for us.

      • Paul H permalink
        December 20, 2019 1:59 pm

        The rank & file, yes, but the instigators, often behind the scenes, the so called faceless ones, know exactly what they are doing.

    • Yippiy permalink
      December 20, 2019 5:21 am

      Right in one. When will understanding of pouring money through subsidies and preference in output to inefficient operations so that they replace low-cost efficient operations means only one thing; the wealth of the nation must go down along with the disappearing pay rise to pay for these inefficiencies. There is always a cost reckoning for any such feel-good subsidies.

  4. Saighdear permalink
    December 19, 2019 10:51 am

    huh, Where’s the “OUTRAGE”? long since gone under the bridge… old news died off – maybe being re-animated ? An awful lot of our Windtowers have been built by and from European ( ie foreign ) workers whilst we stand by, nay, get held back as they trundle along our roads in the middle of the day. ” Oh you don’t have the Tech “Know-How” or “Equipment” to do the work – so we have to take it up from the Sarth….” is what you hear.
    Same goes for a lot of the other Infrastructural works in the Non-Central Belt of SNP-shire.
    Our Welders go abroad and to NORWAY to help extract OIL yet SNPshire wants to Ban any oil related business… Oh give over , Thora!

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      December 19, 2019 2:35 pm

      I believe the definition of “Local” is within 2 hours travelling time. Hence hopping on a plan in Amsterdam & off at Robin Hood & in the hire car to Hull, qualifies!

      • Saighdear permalink
        December 19, 2019 2:44 pm

        Keep on beleeevin and save Greta’s planet then !! will be a few D***gals of fuel used then!

  5. Dave Ward permalink
    December 19, 2019 11:05 am

    And, of course, the environmental production standards in China won’t be anywhere near as stringent as those enforced here…

  6. December 19, 2019 11:13 am

    This is how Crony Capitalism works – businesses producing crappy products with cheap foreign labor which consumers MUST buy, and for which those consumers must pay multiple times what a quality product would have cost them, had it been available.

    How long will it take for people to realize their fascist “leaders” are only out for themselves? …and that the “green” scam is just the vehicle for advancing the socialist/fascist agenda?

    • December 19, 2019 1:15 pm

      There is not much capitalism in having a govt. enforced monopoly of wind farms in the Firth ?

      • Ariane permalink
        December 19, 2019 6:03 pm

        Wheewiz, definitely fascism i.e. state control of (energy policy and) the means of production, based on Green/environmentalist neo-Malthusian anti-growth and anti-people ideology.

  7. Man at the Back permalink
    December 19, 2019 11:17 am

    Yes it reminds me of a few years ago when the facility for assembling foreign made wind turbines in Scotland was described as a resurgence of manufacturing in the UK.

    You couldn’t make up, but they do.

    • December 19, 2019 11:43 am

      @Man at the Back

      No lie to big to not tell.

      • Eric Johnson permalink
        December 19, 2019 5:07 pm

        Follow the money. Infinitely (un)wise politicians simply throw OUR money at their feel-good project de jour through subsidies, withholding spending stipulations. Big, ‘evil and gready’ corporation(s) closely read and undetstand the rules as written.

        Where’s the fault lie?

      • December 20, 2019 12:27 pm

        “Where’s the fault lie?” – Eric Johnson

        Good question.

        While everyone is probably at least a little to blame, I would think the fault is predominantly with the politicians, almost none of whom are any good. They are so slick with their lying that the voter votes for one thing, and gets the opposite.

        Not sure how it can be avoided, given the lack of moral fiber of politicians everywhere.

  8. Philip Mulholland permalink
    December 19, 2019 11:23 am

    Chickens Home Roost

  9. Gamecock permalink
    December 19, 2019 2:27 pm

    Whoa! I thought this was about saving the planet?

  10. Stuart Wakefield permalink
    December 19, 2019 3:28 pm

    SSE is a UK company so why would they outsource work to China? The government has made a commitment to new green energy jobs. The other aspect of this is the cost of shipping and the carbon footprint around the world.

    • theguvnor permalink
      December 19, 2019 4:36 pm


    • December 19, 2019 5:26 pm

      Chinese labour costs are lower and Chinese steel etc. is cheaper than Scotland/Europe. Carbon footprints don’t change that.

    • December 19, 2019 5:49 pm

      SSE is listed in the UK, but I dunno who owns it. Of course, of the “big 6” two are German, one French, & one Spanish. Of those one (E.on, or however they capitalise it) is owned by government. A sort of renationalisation by proxy.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      December 20, 2019 9:36 am

      Because otherwise they will lose money on the contract. You want more expensive jobs than you have to pay more for the end product.

  11. Coeur de Lion permalink
    December 19, 2019 6:43 pm

    Anything that upsets Sturgeon has my vote come

  12. Barbara Elsmore permalink
    December 19, 2019 7:10 pm

    Will we see this reported in the BBC and the Guardian or will they manage to overlook it? It appears they intend to hold Boris’s feet to the fire.

  13. December 19, 2019 7:59 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me how the limp-wristed Western nations make deals and kowtow to Red China while the former sell out their own citizens. This is an absolute disgrace. Thanks for keeping us informed, Paul.

  14. jack broughton permalink
    December 19, 2019 9:26 pm

    All of the wind turbines are imported and most of the investors are overseas as they take fixed returns from their low-risk investments: Germany and Denmark are doing and have done very nicely from this enviro-madness: the Germans are also the main suppliers of the CCGTs that are needed to back-up the unreliables: win-win for Germany! lose-lose for UK.

    • Paul H permalink
      December 20, 2019 2:25 pm

      From Wikipedia re SSE ‘Grid connections are more difficult in North Scotland, which receives funding from the rest of the United Kingdom to reduce tariffs.[22]’ Oi, Nichola, have you factored that in?

  15. December 19, 2019 11:54 pm

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  16. Washington 76 permalink
    December 20, 2019 12:35 am

    Dec 8, 2019 NT power bosses sacked after Alice Springs blackout

    The Northern Territory Government has fired the bosses of both Power and Water Corporation and Territory Generation companies following a lengthy report into their “unacceptable” response to widespread blackouts in Alice Springs.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      December 20, 2019 5:55 pm

      Shoot the messengers. The revolution will be when the (ir)responsible politicians are sacked instead.

  17. December 20, 2019 1:09 am

    In Canada he federal green party and the provincial Liberal party were going to create thousands of jobs .Haven’t seen any yet

  18. Coeur de Lion permalink
    December 20, 2019 9:00 am

    When Scotland is independent they will be able to take China on more effectively of course. No one asks Scottish spokes people whether they will keep sterling or take up the euro. To be run by the Bank of England (eeurgh ) or by the collapsing eurozone. Propped up by the Barnett Formuls (look it up) the Scots are obsessed by their lack of bawbees.

  19. Gerry, England permalink
    December 20, 2019 1:56 pm

    Well who saw this coming? Let’s use windmills for electricity generation and make the electricity so expensive that it is cheaper to make more windmills – that will make electricity even more expensive – in China and ship them half way round the world for the Danes and Germans to install. Don’t think the Blue Labour government will change any of this. Boris has already spouted in his last speech that he intends to be carbon zero by 2050 neglecting to mention it will cost over £1 trillion to deliver. Of course, he could always be lying…..

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: