Campaigners call on government to save wind energy jobs

Friends of the Earth has teamed up with union Unite to put pressure on government to bail out the UK's only wind energy factory, due to close later this month.

The Vestas turbine factory on the Isle of Wight is set to close, with production being transferred to China and the USA.

According to FoE this will lead to a loss of some 600 British jobs.

The environmental pressure group and Unite are calling on those who support renewable energy to write to Business Secretary Peter Mandelson asking government to support the domestic wind turbine manufacturing industry in the same way it has helped the automotive industry.

Most turbines in use in the UK are currently imported from Germany or Asia.

The UK has a target of meeting 15% of its total energy demand with renewables by 2020 and FoE claims the country is missing an obvious opportunity to support the green growth of it economy if it lets turbine manufacturing disappear.

“Investment is needed in the renewables industry to ensure it survives the recession,” said Jack Dromey, Unite deputy general secretary.

“The Government talks about how green jobs will help the country climb out of the recession, so we hope they will take action.”

The campaign is asking concerned members of the public to write to Lord Mandelson asking for:

  • A secure future for the Vestas plant.
  • Investment to expand the electricity grid both on and offshore.
  • Innovation in electricity network to allow more decentralised generation.
  • Solutions to promote greater acceptance of onshore wind.
  • A long term vision for green jobs in the UK.
  • Development for skills for renewable energy.
  • Sam Bond

    Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie