This week, two myths about renewables were exploded. First, Bord na Mona, announced that there would be job losses as they moved away from peat harvesting and changed their focus to renewables. Trade Union leaders have estimated that the job losses could be anywhere between 300 and 850 in the next decade.
Unite regional officer Ed Thompson said decarbonisation will result in further job losses.
Back in 2015, the Government were announcing wide scale job creation in their renewable energy White Paper :
And we are committed to supporting businesses, workers and communities to make the transition away from older energy technologies – in the direction of new jobs, new technologies, and new opportunities.
Our energy transition will present further opportunities for job creation and economic growth. For example, it has been estimated that measures required to meet our 2020 renewable energy targets could deliver between 2,500 and 5,550 jobs in the bioenergy sector and up to 4,000 in onshore wind deployment
The media lapped this up at the time. But now reality is hitting home. I for one, am in favor of moving away from peat but the only viable job creating and sustainable alternative is fracking or offshore exploration. The Corrib natural gas field created 1,000 jobs during development.
The other myth that was exploded this week was that wind farms are not damaging to wildlife. A UCC study that even RTE reported on showed that
Irish bird populations decrease in the areas immediately adjacent to wind turbines.The study found that the main reason appears to be the clearing of habitats during the construction of the wind farms.