In the renewables sector, the Scottish government has been trying to turn a faltering economy to their advantage over the last decade. Due to the development of the low-carbon economy, it created “around 130,000 jobs.
Scotland’s Offshore Wind is offering to potential investors reads like a license to print money: “With over 25% of Europe’s offshore wind resource passing over Scottish seas, no wonder some of the biggest names in offshore wind are already operating here.
The Scottish government bought a significant stake in BiFab to help JV Driver, to navigate its way through the treacherous currents. The EDF contract could create more than 1,000 long-term, skilled and well-paid jobs.
There has been almost £5bn of investment in offshore renewables in Scotland that, if properly managed and negotiated, could amount to several thousand sustainable and skilled jobs. According to the GMB, only 100 temporary jobs currently derive from this.
The Scottish government spent a great deal of money securing all the necessary consents for the wind farm and said that jobs would be created in the Fife yards. That was before EDF bought the project from the previous owners for £500m, before crudely jettisoning all prior commitments to local jobs. How the Scottish government failed to get these jobs nailed down legally, even in the event of the contract being bought out, may yet be scrutinized in court. Scotland faces the bizarre and humiliating prospect of a French firm riding on the crest of our spanking new green energy revolution by moving it to the other side of the world, before towing it back on diesel-burning ships to stick it 10 miles off the coast of Fife as a permanent insult to the communities that must look at them every day.
The Scottish government needs to get real here.