(ADPnews) - Jun 11, 2010 - The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) said yesterday it expects the European wind energy sector to create over 250,000 jobs in Europe in the next decade.
“The European Wind Energy Association expects strong growth in wind energy employment in Europe over the coming years to 280,000 by 2015 and 450,000 by 2020. That’s on average, 450 new European wind energy jobs per week over the next decade” said EWEA’s CEO Christian Kjaer.
By the end of 2009, the wind energy sector employed 192,000 in Europe. In addition, European companies employ tens of thousands of people outside Europe.
At a high-level meeting held on Wednesday in Brussels, politicians of the left and right and trade unionists said that three key areas - offshore wind, electricity grids, and the training and education of more engineers and technical staff - are critical to creating those new jobs.
“Only if we continue to install large amounts of renewable energy in the EU and support pilot projects of new technologies, will European renewable energy companies be able to compete”, said Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, president of the Party of European Socialists (PES). “Offshore wind has the largest growth potential and needs to receive stronger public support from and within the European Union”.
Existing and planned European offshore wind projects would, if implemented, supply 10% of Europe's electricity. Employment in offshore is expected to exceed onshore by 2025, and by 2030 over 60% of the total employment in wind energy is expected to be in offshore wind energy.