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UK Windfarms “Lost opportunities “

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One area where I differ in thought from some of the other posters on this thread is the value of having 'home grown' capabilities purely for the sake of it.

 

At the moment, we have free market capitalism as pretty much the global order. I see it rather like a scaled up version of an individual or a small business where you don't try to do everything but instead you focus on what you are good at, and in the process you earn money which you use to buy the things that someone else does better. You probably don't service your own vehicles and you definitely don't build them from scratch. You might buy in services in accountancy and legal expertise. Specific to tree work, you probably use a consultant when needed. The consultant can serve a larger base than just one arb company - their job exists to supply a bit of time to each of a wide customer base. In the same way on a global scale, some countries have resources and cost-bases which lend themselves to manufacturing steel; others to making precision parts; others to development of new products; others to provision of highly skilled services. So long as the UK has something to offer that the rest of the world wants to buy, in exchange it can buy in things which other parts of the world are better at. It is essentially still a barter system, using money as nothing more than an intermediary (which is why crypto-currencies work just as well, so long as they are trusted). Barriers to international trade for the sake of protectionism don't ever really work, unless like North Korea you are prepared to sacrifice the quality of life of your population.

 

The UK has plenty to trade in exchange for equipment. To me it makes more sense to focus on what it is good at, rather than to invest in things that other countries can already do better and will always do cheaper.

 

Alec

 

 

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1 hour ago, agg221 said:

One area where I differ in thought from some of the other posters on this thread is the value of having 'home grown' capabilities purely for the sake of it.

 

At the moment, we have free market capitalism as pretty much the global order. I see it rather like a scaled up version of an individual or a small business where you don't try to do everything but instead you focus on what you are good at, and in the process you earn money which you use to buy the things that someone else does better. You probably don't service your own vehicles and you definitely don't build them from scratch. You might buy in services in accountancy and legal expertise. Specific to tree work, you probably use a consultant when needed. The consultant can serve a larger base than just one arb company - their job exists to supply a bit of time to each of a wide customer base. In the same way on a global scale, some countries have resources and cost-bases which lend themselves to manufacturing steel; others to making precision parts; others to development of new products; others to provision of highly skilled services. So long as the UK has something to offer that the rest of the world wants to buy, in exchange it can buy in things which other parts of the world are better at. It is essentially still a barter system, using money as nothing more than an intermediary (which is why crypto-currencies work just as well, so long as they are trusted). Barriers to international trade for the sake of protectionism don't ever really work, unless like North Korea you are prepared to sacrifice the quality of life of your population.

 

The UK has plenty to trade in exchange for equipment. To me it makes more sense to focus on what it is good at, rather than to invest in things that other countries can already do better and will always do cheaper.

 

Alec

 

 

That’s worked well for many communities in the last 30 yrs hasn’t it 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️As we import more and more from overseas we are contributing to the destruction of our own environment and condemning hundreds of thousands to unemployment. You can not rely on others as far as I’m concerned, we should have the capacity to at least stand on our own2 feet for most part. Globalisation and full on capitalism that often accompanies it is a cancer as far as I’m concerned. 

Edited by Johnsond
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Some interesting points Alec and I do understand your point, however coming from a heavy industrial background it does sadden me when big lumps of our infrastructure like electricity are foreign owned for example Scottish Power is Spanish owned, how is that?

Another example would be Sizewell C which is Chinese build and French operated again how can that be?

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14 hours ago, Johnsond said:

That’s worked well for many communities in the last 30 yrs hasn’t it 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️As we import more and more from overseas we are contributing to the destruction of our own environment and condemning hundreds of thousands to unemployment. You can not rely on others as far as I’m concerned, we should have the capacity to at least stand on our own2 feet for most part. Globalisation and full on capitalism that often accompanies it is a cancer as far as I’m concerned. 

Who is this 'we' though?  If you take it to its conclusion, you as an individual cannot trust anyone else and should be wholly self-reliant, at which point you should return to the stone-age and use only hand tools which you can make yourself. 'We' only really works if you consider humanity as a whole across the entire planet. If you work at any sub-level, and assume you want 21st century technology as part of that, everyone is inherently going to be dependent on everyone else.

 

Take an example. Assume 'we' means Scotland, which cuts itself off North Korea style. At that point, some things it is going to not have anymore:

 

Indium - so no flat panel displays = no smart phones, computers etc.

Cobalt - so no high power batteries.

Nickel and Chromium - so no stainless steel, no hard plating for hydraulics and valves, and coincidentally chainsaw barrels and other small two-stroke engines, no half-decent batteries and no advanced semiconductors.

Gallium - so no solar panels (OK, less of a problem in Scotland!) but also even fewer semiconductors.

 

Probably quite a few more, but these are the ones which immediately spring to mind.

 

No unemployment problem though, as pretty much the only technology still available will be labour-intensive 19th century equipment so plenty of work for people as their productivity will be so low.

 

Of course that isn't going to happen, but the point is that it won't happen because there will be trade. Trade will happen because the countries which have these things will want to produce a surplus which they will want to exchange for things which they need. You then have dependency again. It's not actually about trust, it's about mutual benefit, which is a much more powerful imperative.

 

14 hours ago, roys said:

Some interesting points Alec and I do understand your point, however coming from a heavy industrial background it does sadden me when big lumps of our infrastructure like electricity are foreign owned for example Scottish Power is Spanish owned, how is that?

Another example would be Sizewell C which is Chinese build and French operated again how can that be?

I do understand why it saddens you - the UK has spent the last 50 years changing direction and there are consequences. The simple answers are the Conservative party's ideology over decades of minimising state involvement leading to a policy of privatization, allowing anyone to gain control of a majority share in a publicly listed company, and the fact that the UK's nuclear development programme whilst technically superior in terms of performance was not as cost-effective and had some technical problems with the design (cracks in the graphite core) so was abandoned decades ago, so when the decision to build a new reactor was taken it hand to be bought from a company with a current design. Actually, it's only French operated in terms of the country in which the company was founded and is registered. The people on the ground will be employees of a French registered company, just as the current people on the ground building it are, but they are UK jobs, and the infrastructure which supports them creates more UK jobs. Most of the biggest companies are multinational anyway - unless they are state owned or controlled, the real owners could be anywhere on the planet. Is Amazon really a US company anymore, any more than BP is a British one?

 

Actually, I disagree with the premise that heavy manufacturing being based in other countries condemns people to unemployment. That would only be true if there were no other options. They may not be the same jobs which people have been trained for, and I would quite agree the whole thing goes wrong if you simply take away the old jobs and do nothing to create new ones, but there are some good examples of how to go about this, along with the bad. The alternative is effectively a state-subsidised propping up of unproductive and inefficient industry. That was tried in the former Eastern Block and it didn't work very well. Personally I would rather not end up with a Trabant!

 

Alec

 

Edited by agg221
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The simple answers are the Conservative party's ideology over decades of minimising state involvement leading to a policy of privatization, allowing anyone to gain control of a majority share in a publicly listed company, and the fact that the UK's nuclear development programme whilst technically superior in terms of performance was not as cost-effective and had some technical problems with the design (cracks in the graphite core) so was abandoned decades ago, so when the decision to build a new reactor was taken it hand to be bought from a company with a current design. Actually, it's only French operated in terms of ownership. The people on the ground will be employees of a French company, just as the current people on the ground building it are, but they are UK jobs, and the infrastructure which supports them creates more UK jobs. Most of the biggest companies are multinational anyway - unless they are state owned or controlled, the real owners could be anywhere on the planet. Is Amazon really a US company anymore, any more than BP is a British one?
 
Actually, I disagree with the premise that heavy manufacturing being based in other countries condemns people to unemployment. That would only be true if there were no other options. They may not be the same jobs which people have been trained for, and I would quite agree the whole thing goes wrong if you simply take away the old jobs and do nothing to create new ones, but there are some good examples of how to go about this, along with the bad. The alternative is effectively a state-subsidised propping up of unproductive and inefficient industry. That was tried in the former Eastern Block and it didn't work very well. Personally I would rather not end up with a Trabant!
 
Alec
 
I've always thought that Trabants were pretty cool, in a "so bad they're good" kinda way. There were loads still kicking around in Poland, eastern Germany and other eastern/central European countries the first time I went in the late 90s even.

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13 hours ago, Doug Tait said:

Watched a Guy Martin programme about electric cars recently, he visited a Battery Destruction Test site.

 

The battery fires are an exothermic reaction (think that's the word for it) and generate their own heat chemically so even when they've apparently been extinguished will just start burning again. Fire service in Germany are testing a watertight container which they crane the whole car into then submerge in water to transport them safely.

 


Guy explores the world of electric vehicles. Are they the future...

 

i saw that program at the end he said if you want to travel more than 50 miles in one go electric is not for you give it another 3 or 4 years and it maybe  

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3 hours ago, agg221 said:

Who is this 'we' though?  If you take it to its conclusion, you as an individual cannot trust anyone else and should be wholly self-reliant, at which point you should return to the stone-age and use only hand tools which you can make yourself. 'We' only really works if you consider humanity as a whole across the entire planet. If you work at any sub-level, and assume you want 21st century technology as part of that, everyone is inherently going to be dependent on everyone else.

 

Take an example. Assume 'we' means Scotland, which cuts itself off North Korea style. At that point, some things it is going to not have anymore:

 

Indium - so no flat panel displays = no smart phones, computers etc.

Cobalt - so no high power batteries.

Nickel and Chromium - so no stainless steel, no hard plating for hydraulics and valves, and coincidentally chainsaw barrels and other small two-stroke engines, no half-decent batteries and no advanced semiconductors.

Gallium - so no solar panels (OK, less of a problem in Scotland!) but also even fewer semiconductors.

 

Probably quite a few more, but these are the ones which immediately spring to mind.

 

No unemployment problem though, as pretty much the only technology still available will be labour-intensive 19th century equipment so plenty of work for people as their productivity will be so low.

 

Of course that isn't going to happen, but the point is that it won't happen because there will be trade. Trade will happen because the countries which have these things will want to produce a surplus which they will want to exchange for things which they need. You then have dependency again. It's not actually about trust, it's about mutual benefit, which is a much more powerful imperative.

 

The simple answers are the Conservative party's ideology over decades of minimising state involvement leading to a policy of privatization, allowing anyone to gain control of a majority share in a publicly listed company, and the fact that the UK's nuclear development programme whilst technically superior in terms of performance was not as cost-effective and had some technical problems with the design (cracks in the graphite core) so was abandoned decades ago, so when the decision to build a new reactor was taken it hand to be bought from a company with a current design. Actually, it's only French operated in terms of the country in which the company was founded and is registered. The people on the ground will be employees of a French company, just as the current people on the ground building it are, but they are UK jobs, and the infrastructure which supports them creates more UK jobs. Most of the biggest companies are multinational anyway - unless they are state owned or controlled, the real owners could be anywhere on the planet. Is Amazon really a US company anymore, any more than BP is a British one?

 

Actually, I disagree with the premise that heavy manufacturing being based in other countries condemns people to unemployment. That would only be true if there were no other options. They may not be the same jobs which people have been trained for, and I would quite agree the whole thing goes wrong if you simply take away the old jobs and do nothing to create new ones, but there are some good examples of how to go about this, along with the bad. The alternative is effectively a state-subsidised propping up of unproductive and inefficient industry. That was tried in the former Eastern Block and it didn't work very well. Personally I would rather not end up with a Trabant!

 

Alec

 

We as in the people’s within the boundaries of the UK. Raw materials can be sourced worldwide etc as many of the countries manufacturing the stuff we import also lack the base materials required yet still have in place the industries that would benefit thousands here. The rest whilst long winded and well written just says that nothing in your eyes is worth changing. Sadly we have politicians and management of most big UK plcs that think of only tomorrow and this years set of results for shareholders too🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️
Regarding state aid or support many of our European neighbours have had a much more relaxed view on those rules than we have for years. What we lack is long term planning,vision and belief that things can be better. Too many years of shit shit government policies and utter greed. 

Edited by Johnsond
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9 hours ago, Johnsond said:

We as in the people’s within the boundaries of the UK. Raw materials can be sourced worldwide etc as many of the countries manufacturing the stuff we import also lack the base materials required yet still have in place the industries that would benefit thousands here. The rest whilst long winded and well written just says that nothing in your eyes is worth changing. Sadly we have politicians and management of most big UK plcs that think of only tomorrow and this years set of results for shareholders too🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️
Regarding state aid or support many of our European neighbours have had a much more relaxed view on those rules than we have for years. What we lack is long term planning,vision and belief that things can be better. Too many years of shit shit government policies and utter greed. 

I'm not saying it's not worth changing. What I'm saying is that to implement change, you need a plan. We have a current system which has evolved rather than been created and it works in a holistic, self-consistent way. If you don't like it, you need to propose an alternative (unless the purpose is just to generally complain). The plan can't just cover one part - it needs to consider whether in making one thing better you make a whole load of other things worse with the net result that you are worse off. The plan has to be driven by need (supply and demand) rather than faith in human behaviour, otherwise at some point it will fall apart.

 

Some questions which need to be answered:

Where does the money come from to pay for the infrastructure you would have to build?

Why are other countries going to give the UK the raw materials needed?

If the UK is going to pay for them, on the international scale, what is it going to sell to generate the cash?

What about the raw materials which other countries -won't- sell? I happen to be very familiar with the situation over indium for example, having worked specifically with first using it and then developing alternatives for nearly 20yrs and I can state with confidence that when other countries develop the capability, their approach is to add as much value as possible, rather than sell you the raw material. That's also what you are now seeing with wind turbine components.

 

Ultimately, my opinion is that it is preferable to be the best at what the UK can do, and to trade this capability for the things which others can do better. The UK is world-leading in pharmaceuticals (the human genome was first sequenced here and that is being exploited), in structural integrity assessment and lifing of structures, in financial services, in some aspects of software and firmware (ARM, gaming, blockchain etc) and probably many other areas which I have overlooked. It has a plan to do the same for emerging net-zero technology. To me, it makes sense to invest in developing these capabilities further, rather than to invest in developing a second-rate capability to make something slower, poorer quality and more expensive than you could just buy from someone else, and at the same time make it harder to sell the things you are good at. I repeat the point, Soviet-style protectionism has been tried and it didn't work. What is the proposed alternative?


Alec

Edited by agg221
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11 hours ago, sime42 said:
12 hours ago, agg221 said:
The simple answers are the Conservative party's ideology over decades of minimising state involvement leading to a policy of privatization, allowing anyone to gain control of a majority share in a publicly listed company, and the fact that the UK's nuclear development programme whilst technically superior in terms of performance was not as cost-effective and had some technical problems with the design (cracks in the graphite core) so was abandoned decades ago, so when the decision to build a new reactor was taken it hand to be bought from a company with a current design. Actually, it's only French operated in terms of ownership. The people on the ground will be employees of a French company, just as the current people on the ground building it are, but they are UK jobs, and the infrastructure which supports them creates more UK jobs. Most of the biggest companies are multinational anyway - unless they are state owned or controlled, the real owners could be anywhere on the planet. Is Amazon really a US company anymore, any more than BP is a British one?
 
Actually, I disagree with the premise that heavy manufacturing being based in other countries condemns people to unemployment. That would only be true if there were no other options. They may not be the same jobs which people have been trained for, and I would quite agree the whole thing goes wrong if you simply take away the old jobs and do nothing to create new ones, but there are some good examples of how to go about this, along with the bad. The alternative is effectively a state-subsidised propping up of unproductive and inefficient industry. That was tried in the former Eastern Block and it didn't work very well. Personally I would rather not end up with a Trabant!
 
Alec
 

Read more  

I've always thought that Trabants were pretty cool, in a "so bad they're good" kinda way. There were loads still kicking around in Poland, eastern Germany and other eastern/central European countries the first time I went in the late 90s even.

Somewhere around 2005 I was in Bucharest on business. The engineer at the company we were visiting picked us up from the hotel in his 1973 Dacia 1300. It was winter and the car was certainly memorable in many ways - lack of comfort being one of them. Most memorable was that driving in heavy traffic seemed reliant on faith rather than engineering - every time we went across an intersection, the driver would cross himself and go for it. I don't know if it worked, but we made it!


Alec

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We're throwing away opportunities all over shop:
 

WWW.THEREGISTER.COM

A 48-month, £41m hyperscale cloud service deal done with HMRC
WWW.THEREGISTER.COM

Brit tax collection agency's IT estate contains 'significant risk'



 

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