The European wind energy sector has created 33 new jobs every day for the past five years, journalists attending the launch of a new report from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) heard today. According to the report, entitled, ‘Wind at Work - wind energy and job creation in the EU', jobs in wind energy will more than double from 154,000 to 325,000 by 2020.
In 2007, wind energy increased more than any other power generating technology in the EU. The growth in installed wind capacity has been matched by an increase in related jobs. According to ‘Wind at Work', the sector employed 154,000 people in 2007 - 108,600 in direct jobs and the rest indirectly.
In terms of job profiles, the report shows that turbine manufacturers are the main employers, with 37% of all direct jobs, followed by component manufacturers and project developers. Where the Member States are concerned, currently 75% of all direct wind energy jobs are to be found in the three ‘pioneer' countries of Denmark, Germany and Spain, but other countries, such as France, the UK and Italy are now beginning to catch up.
"‘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" said Christian Kjaer, EWEA Chief Executive.
Journalists who came to the press launch, held at Pauwels International in Belgium - a company that specialises in making transformers for wind turbines - were able to ask questions of Kjaer and Francis Robberechts,Vice President of CG Power EMEA. They were then taken on an exclusive tour of the Pauwels factory to see an example of direct jobs in the sector.
Robberechts spoke of the importance of the wind energy sector for his company. "Wind energy is an important contributor to Pauwels' workforce - 20-30% of the 1,000 employees at our Belgium site are engaged on long-term wind energy projects", he said.
Wind energy can give a huge boost to economic welfare, offering greater energy independence, lower energy costs, reduced fuel price risks, improved competitiveness, technology exports and new jobs. ‘Wind at Work' focuses on just one of the many economic benefits of the industry, revealing the full extent of the effect that supporting and developing wind energy has on employment in the EU.
To download the report, click here.