The mainstream press is full of vitriol for Vattenfall, the developers of the Pen y Cymoedd windfarm in south Wales. Their ‘crime’ has been to source their wind turbine towers from overseas whilst the plummeting global price of steel is costing many hundreds of jobs in Port Talbot.

Mirror headline on wind turbines and steel

The Mirror reports; but the evidence points elsewhere

What these media reports lack is the facts.

Firstly, the output from Port Talbot is not suitable for wind turbine tower manufacture. The plant manufactures steel strip, which can be used for items as varied as food cans, car body panels, fridge bodies and railway tracks – but not, sadly, wind turbine towers.

Secondly, there used to be a Wales-based manufacturer which supplied towers to the wind turbine market and which used steel manufactured in the UK (at the Scunthorpe plant). However the Conservative policy of effectively banning wind turbines in England and slashing the subsidy elsewhere caused the immediate close of Mabey Bridge.

There is a savage irony in the left-leaning mirror blaming renewable energy companies for the problems caused by the UK Government.

The Pen y Cymoedd development is an outstanding example of corporate responsibility. The developers have made extensive efforts to procure as much of the project spend locally as possible, and are ploughing huge sums into community benefit funds for local economic development.

We’re working hard to support local supply chains

To support local spend and economic benefit, RenewableUK Cymru recently published a guide for companies wishing to enter the onshore wind sector supply chain.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t bash #wind – fund the Swansea @tidallagoon! @dailymirror @david_cameron”]

Commenting on the story, David Clubb said:

“Perhaps instead of criticising the renewable energy industry for helping safeguard low-cost, low-carbon electricity, the media should be encouraging the UK Government to make a positive decision to support the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.

“The lagoon project has the opportunity to create thousands of jobs locally, throwing a lifeline to communities fearing for their livelihoods due to the double-whammy of world steel prices and the UK Government’s current perplexity on energy policy”.