In a recent letter/article by SNP MSP Mike MacKenzie, “There is always an alternative”, he refers to last year’s Scottish Islands Renewables Report which stated there could be 463 jobs created through renewable energy projects in Shetland by 2020 and up to 2,900 jobs by 2030.
These new employment figures are being put around by Mr MacKenzie and renewable energy developers as if they were somehow factual. They are not. They are complete fantasy numbers plucked from the air to make the argument look good for an interconnector. Similar imaginary figures are used for Orkney and the Western Isles.
Viking Energy is the only major renewable energy project scheduled to be up and running in Shetland by 2020. It is projected to create around 35 permanent jobs. Any construction jobs will only be temporary and any jobs created through this will only form a very small increase on a construction firm’s permanent workforce.
More than likely not all the construction work will involve local companies. What will the other 430 people, in these newly created jobs, be working on by 2020 and what will the other 2,865 workers be doing by 2030?
I don’t read much fantasy but I would be interested to see a detailed breakdown of this.