You would think the management of any wind turbine blade manufacturer in the UK would be rubbing their hands with glee in the wake of the Government’s much-hyped pledge for a green energy revolution.
Loads of offshore and onshore windfarms all over the country – all needing new turbine blades and replacements in the future. What could be a more attractive proposition for a company such as Vestas, a Danish giant which has built up a workforce of more than 600 at its Newport, Isle of Wight (IoW) factory and a secondary outlet in Southampton?
Well, actually this has all gone down like a lead balloon, because back in April Vestas (reputedly one of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers) announced plans to shut down its business, citing the economic crisis and – more strangely – Britain’s apparent NIMBY-ism regarding wind farms.
But in the meantime, thanks to the Government’s green pledge, the situation has changed radically. Surely the Vestas management would jump at the chance to perform a graceful U-turn after negotiating some sort of deal, thus saving its UK business – not to mention the jobs of its loyal workers in Southampton and on the IoW, where unemployment is absolutely rife?
Erm, not a bit of it! Astonishingly, the company’s bigwigs have made it abundantly clear – especially to their soon to be ex-employees – that they will not budge from the closure decision, and do not want help from anyone!
Now all that comes after Government consultation, during which it was revealed that Vestas was apparently producing ‘the wrong sort of blade’ for HM Gov’s proposed windfarms. Wrong sort of blade? That even sounds more reminiscent of a railway announcement during winter!
Surely, for the sake of the 600 loyal employees, a little bit of investment could sort out that ‘glitch’ – and EVERYONE would be happy.
The keyword is co-operation, a rare experience these days by all accounts. Jobs would be saved – maybe even safeguarded for the future – Vestas would, hopefully make a healthy profit, and the Government wouldn’t have to look further afield in Europe or the Far East for thousands of wind turbine blades.
Maybe this solution is just too simple for those who inhabit the corridors of power in Government and industry. . .