Europe's wind sector a hotbed of new jobs

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Europe's wind energy sector has created 33 new jobs every day for the past five years, according to a report released by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). "Wind at work-wind energy and job creation in the EU" predicts that jobs in wind will more than double from 154,000 in 2007 to 325,000 by 2020. Turbine manufacturers are the main employers, accounting for 38% of direct jobs, with 75% of all jobs located in the "pioneer" countries: Germany, Denmark and Spain. In addition to creating 108,600 direct jobs in the past five years, the report estimates that the wind sector created some 45,500 jobs in areas not directly concerned with wind energy. Up to 2020, when 180 GW of wind energy will be operating, onshore wind will be the biggest employer. But the offshore sector, with its higher level of employment per megawatt installed, will have become an increasingly important employer. By 2025, EWEA calculates that jobs in offshore wind will exceed those onshore. But the report warns that the wind sector is facing a serious skills shortage, particularly on the manufacturing side, with engineers, operations and maintenance technicians and site managers in short supply, and on the development side, where project managers are needed. It calls for information about the sector to be targeted at schools to encourage students to consider courses and training suitable for careers in wind. "Wind at Work reveals the vast potential of the wind energy industry as a source of employment that can bring real long term benefits to European economies," says EWEA's Christian Kjaer.

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