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Green tech ‘benefits’ go overseas

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The Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) shot down comments from chancellor Alistair Darling who recently claimed businesses were benefiting from the ‘green jobs revolution’.

It said Britain was more likely to miss the boat. It points out that around 90 per cent of the money earmarked for Britain’s biggest off-shore wind farm is being spent on overseas contractors, with just £180m going to UK firms.

“In Germany you get government sitting down with business and saying, this is what the targets are for renewable energy and what do you need to provide the kind of necessary capacity,” EEF head of climate change and environment policy, Gareth Stace, told the Guardian newspaper.

“Lord Mandelson [the business secretary] has brought a sense of urgency, but it still requires a different mindset to push the boundaries of state aid like other countries do. We have missed the boat on onshore wind and risk doing the same offshore,” he added.

But in the same newspaper in December Darling had earlier claimed that clean energy goals would create half a million new jobs. “By addressing investment barriers we’ve released billions of pounds for offshore wind, ultra low-carbon vehicles, marine energy and low-carbon aerospace. Green industries alone could support a further half a million jobs over the next decade. None of this would happen without support,” he wrote in the Guardian.

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