Wind farms to be built off UK coast, but 70,000 jobs created could go overseas

The government is expected to announce the creation of nine new wind farms off the UK’s coastline, but many of the jobs created to make the turbines could go overseas.

Ed Miliband, the energy and climate change secretary, will today reveal that the world’s biggest expansion of offshore wind power, costing £75bn, will create 70,000 jobs in the UK by 2020. But so far the government has failed to persuade any of the major wind turbine manufacturers to open a factory in Britain.

The companies granted a licence to build the farms will not be obliged to source any parts from domestic manufacturers and it is thought most will buy turbines made in Denmark or Germany, the Times has reported.

Government officials have held talks with the major providers including Siemens, Vestas, Mitsubishi and General Electric, but none of the companies has committed to manufacturing the turbines in the UK.

Britain’s only turbine blade manufacturer – the Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight – closed last summer.

Most of the manufacturing contracts for London Array, the biggest wind farm in British waters, have been awarded overseas, with less than 10% of the £1.7bn investment being spent in the UK.

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