Huhne really is a twat isn\’t he?

“At a time when closures and cuts dominate the news cycle, next-generation industries are providing jobs and sinking capital into Britain,” he will say. “I want to take aim at the curmudgeons and faultfinders who hold forth on the impossibility of renewables. The climate sceptics and armchair engineers who are selling Britain’s ingenuity short.”

Mr Huhne and several other senior Lib Dems will make speeches today, while Prime Minister David Cameron was supposed to be abroad for talks on the eurozone crisis – until the meeting was postponed last night.

The Energy Secretary will argue that the renewable energy industries have created 9,000 UK jobs and attracted almost £2 billion of investment.

It\’s not the amount of the investment that matters, it\’s what the investment is spent on that does.

If we stick £2 billion into renewables then we get renewables. If we stick £1 billion into gas plants and £1 billion into a nappy factory then we get both energy and nappies. We arr richer by those nappies.

Silly example, yes, but makes the point: it just isn\’t the amount of investment that is important. It\’s what the investment is doing, what is being produced as a result of it, that matters. The more efficiently we spend whatever it is that we have to invest then the more is produced from that investment and thus the richer, collectively we are.

15 thoughts on “Huhne really is a twat isn\’t he?”

  1. And if gas produces cheaper energy then said nappies will be cheaper and parents will have money to spend on other things.

  2. “The climate sceptics and armchair engineers who are selling Britain’s ingenuity short”

    The idea that we’ll create a new industrial revolution based on solar in this country is ridiculous.

    If you look at a lot of industries they end up getting all the specialist stuff, the stuff that yields high-earning jobs in a few places. So, for instance, because Sheffield was a huge steel producer, it’s still where a lot of the specialists and research are. Likewise, Northampton with leather, Oxfordshire with F1 cars and San Francisco with computers.

    The centre of the solar industry will be in somewhere like California or Arizona where there’s plenty of land and the sun shines.

  3. For politicians size IS what counts. The rest is too complicated. Simple message – £2bn investment. That £2bn might be entirely wasted, but that isn’t the point.

  4. Actually Tim A, the center for solar may well be China as they’re wiping out the US firms with low priced products supported by massive subsidies…

  5. johnnydub,

    So the question is whether we can actually fight that and win, or not?

    Because if we can’t then we might as well let the Chinese subsidise it and find something that no-one’s subsidising (like 3d printers) or just let people have more of their own money and let them innovate into new areas.

  6. Correct Huhne is a twat of the first order. BTW would it be possible whilst on the subject of twats to nominate Clegg also? Just a thought.

    If you check the Verso Economics report “Worth a Candle” (think its called that) on the state of renewables it says for every one “green job” 3.75 are lost in other parts of the economy. Similar results have been seen in Spain who have gone head first into PV Solar.
    As an aside most of the wind turbines are manufactured overseas – so how does this affect the governments manufacturing strategy?

  7. Then again, he could have created 7,000 jobs by ordering 7,000 people to dig holes in Blackburn.

    Same effect on our energy provision in 2015…

  8. @john miller: and at the cost of (say) £30K per job it would ‘only’ have cost £210m. A saving of nearly 90%. Or put another way, 7000 people digging holes in Blackburn for £30K/pa for 10 years straight for the same money. At least you’d know where that £2bn would have gone too – right into the Blackburn economy (if one exists). Most of the renewables subsidy will end up overseas. Two neighbouring farmers to me are just completing mega-solar farms. All the work done by Germans, and the panels came from Germany too. Really helping create UK jobs eh?

  9. @john miller
    Tut. Typical public sector project. They announced 10,000 hole digging jobs in Blackburn Lancashire, and it turns out we only actually get 7,000.

    I guess the other 3,000 jobs were created in Ofhole (the excavations regulator), the North-West Strategic Hole Development Board, Sustainablility monitors ….

  10. I wonder how much money Huhne is getting from the renewable industry. Coming soon: Britain’s very own Solyndra?

  11. 1. If China is subsidising it, we get cheaper solar, they get poorer (or is that not quite so rich?).

    2. If that £2bln is being used to support the industry, it is a subsidy, not investment. If it is investment and viable, cant see why the private sector cannot get on with it.

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