UK offshore wind industry has potential to create 30,000 jobs

Over 30,000 jobs would be created if the UK Government made a commitment to provide 10% of the nation's electricity from offshore wind over the next 10 years, claims a report commissioned by Greenpeace UK.

The study, ‘Offshore wind, onshore jobs: A new world class British energy industry for the Millennium‘, shows that the North East of England, with its history of heavy industry and offshore work, would be the natural home of the offshore wind industry in the UK.

The study by Energy for Sustainable Development also claims that the UK’s offshore wind power resource is the largest in Europe and is equivalent to three times the UK’s current electricity usage.

The study uses an input-output analysis based on UK Government figures to show how the 30,000 jobs would be created by 2010 and provides analysis of what type of jobs those would be.

10,000 jobs would be created in manufacturing, installation and maintenance of turbines, and over 20,000 jobs in businesses supplying components and services to the wind industry.

The report claims that in the machinery sector alone the manufacture and installation of wind turbines would create over 4,500 skilled jobs, while over 4,600 jobs would be created in the transport and telecommunications sector.

Labour costs, the study says, are among the lowest in Northern Europe and are 40% below those in Denmark, which is responsible for manufacture of over half the world’s turbines.

“The economic indications of the report are clear,” said Greenpeace’s Renewable Energy Campaigner, Simon Reddy. “Nothing now stands in the way of the Government creating 30,000 new jobs and a new offshore wind industry in the UK other than political will.”

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