Having already paid a visit to Chepstow, risking 125 jobs in the high-quality renewable energy manufacturing sector, government policy is now travelling to rural parts of Wales and hitting jobs there, too.
Sadly, long-standing and very highly regarded renewable energy businesses such as Dulas, located in Machynlleth, are seeing the impacts of the policy changes.
In an open letter to ministers at both the UK and Welsh Governments, Phil Horton, Managing Director at Dulas describes how the policy changes are threatening jobs at Dulas, and in the wider supply chain in mid Wales.
He describes how alternative jobs within the area are extremely hard to find, and that the loss of employment in the local area would have a devastating effect:
“We have, in the last month, seen the withdrawal of projects from our planning team, both solar and onshore wind, with a steep decline in work booked from the end of August. The projects already withdrawn represent around £200k in what was secured revenue for 2015, which may seem small but the early-stage planning team is only 7 people. This will have a major immediate impact on that team, with consideration being given to staff losses.
The other teams in our company that operate in these areas (meteorological masts and remote sensing for wind, design and install teams for solar) will see these changes impacting later as the cancelled planning projects fail to come through the pipeline.”
Commenting on the letter, David Clubb, Director of RenewableUK Cymru said:
“Dulas is a fantastic example of how renewable energy employs people the length and breadth of Wales. The company name is synonymous with professionalism and integrity, and they have been a bedrock of local engineering employment for decades.
“Whilst it is deeply saddening to see that such companies are seeing their staff put at risk, it is not wholly surprising; the UK Government seems to be rushing to enact policies hugely damaging to the renewable energy sector. It is almost inevitable that companies employing hundreds of people across Wales look at their staffing levels in an increasingly uncertain future.
“Some may be forgiven for thinking that the UK Government’s energy policy accepts economic and social vandalism as legitimate collateral damage in its headlong rush towards nuclear and fracking.”