United Kingdom

United Kingdom

45,000 jobs predicted for UK's offshore wind industry

UK: Offshore wind will see the largest increase in employment between 2013 to 2023, accounting for more than half of the jobs in the UK's wind and wave and tidal energy sectors.

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RenewableUK’s chief executive, Maria McCaffery, said: "The offshore wind sector alone could be employing nearly 45,000 workers in the 2020s."

The report, Working for a Green Britain & Northern Ireland 2013-23, shows the number of jobs in the UK’s offshore wind industry has more than doubled from 2010 to 2013.

The number of direct jobs in the sector has increased from 3,151 in 2010 to 6,830 this year.

Employment in offshore operations and maintenance has more than doubled since 2010, to around 1,225. The other major activity in the sector is planning and development where employment has almost tripled from 450 in 2010 to 1,276 now.

Manufacturing and manufacturing design accounts for a further 10% of employment and the remaining 17% is in specialised transport and other support services.

The report shows offshore wind is the largest source of potential employment in the entire wind and marine energy sector but McCaffery warned future growth should not be taken for granted.

McCaffery said: "The scale of the opportunity is massive, but success is not guaranteed. We want to ensure offshore wind is given the same opportunity to prosper as the North Sea oil and gas industries had in their heyday."

The report shows, unsurprisingly, there are substantial overlaps between on and offshore wind technologies, with more than half of firms in engaged in onshore wind also engaged in offshore wind, and vice versa.

There are also substantial overlaps between offshore wind and marine energy, though fewer companies are likely to be involved in a combination of onshore wind and marine energy.

Since 2010, installed capacity in offshore wind has grown from around 1.3GW to more than 3.5GW by mid-2013. In the first six months of 20131GW became operational including London Array and Greater Gabbard, off the East Anglia coast.

The capacity in the pipeline is expected to pass 20GW and the report predicts by 2023, offshore wind capacity will reach almost 27GW.

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