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Green Jobs - Wind energy is already working in Europe


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Wind energy is a mainstream power source, providing the answers to many of the challenges facing Europe today. Europe needs wind power to meet its 2020 renewable energy target of 20% by 2020, to help it in the fight against climate
change, to provide its consumers with a domestic, secure power source that does not expose them to increases in fuel and carbon prices, and to create green, sustainable jobs – and the job opportunities are growing with the sector (2010 document).

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Green Jobs - Wind energy is already working in Europe

  1. 1. green jobs A European Wind Energy Association publication Wind energy is already working in Europe Photo: REpower Wind energy is a mainstream power source, pro- in Europe in the five-year period from end 2002 Wind farm development, installation, operation viding the answers to many of the challenges fac- to end 2007. Or, 29 new people were employed and maintenance provide other big sources of ing Europe today. Europe needs wind power to every day, seven days a week. That’s an impres- opportunities. Additional jobs are found in con- meet its 2020 renewable energy target of 20% sive rate that is predicted to keep on climbing. sultancies, research, and the financial sector. In by 2020, to help it in the fight against climate terms of geographic spread, a lot of today’s wind change, to provide its consumers with a domes- Not only has wind energy launched individuals energy jobs are found in Denmark, Germany and tic, secure power source that does not expose into sustainable careers, but it has also helped to Spain – the wind power pioneers. However, other them to increases in fuel and carbon prices, and reverse the fortunes of once declining cities and countries are catching-up, for example in the UK to create green, sustainable jobs – and the job regions in Europe. Many of these, like Bremer- where the offshore sector is on the verge of a opportunities are growing with the sector. haven in Germany, were once the centres of the massive expansion. shipping industry, but as this declined, so did In 2009, there were around 192,000 people in the prospects of the area. Wind energy, with the But the fast expansion of wind power has created the EU employed directly or indirectly by the wind wealth of jobs it offers, has transformed some some bottlenecks due to a shortage of skilled la- energy industry. Some 20,000 of these were work- European towns. bour and too few technical graduates. Engineers, ing in the burgeoning offshore sector. Breaking operations and maintenance technicians, site that figure down shows that on average 10,503 A large proportion of the jobs available are in managers and project managers are in strong de- new direct wind energy jobs were created per year wind turbine and component manufacturing. mand in the sector. Wind power around the world Alongside Europe, there are two other domi- facturing plants have been built, announced nant markets for wind energy: Asia and or expanded in the past five years. North America. In 2009, China more than doubled its wind power capacity compared The strong growth rates seen in both Asia to the previous year. and North America have been driven by re- gional and national renewable energy poli- Over in the US, the wind industry has surged cies. India, China, Korea and the US are ahead and now provides enough power to all challenging Europe’s position as world keep the lights on in 7.9 million average leader in wind power. However, Europe’sPhoto: Nordex American homes. The wind energy sector world-recognised expertise and wind energy employs around 85,000 people in the US, technology leadership mean it is still in the and at least 100 wind power-related manu- top spot.
  2. 2. “We are talking about thousands of jobs” Poul Nyrup Rasmussen President of the Party of European Socialists (PES), Chairman of Lindoe Offshore Renewable Centre and former Prime Minister of Denmark“Today we need research invest- “In the future, there will be offshore lar backing. It was obvious to many We have been successful becausements of about €10 billion for the off- wind parks for which you’ll need 300 people: why don’t we change and of strong political, industry and la-shore wind sector. If we make good to 400 people constantly out there integrate wind power into our en- bour market will. It took us 25 yearsinvestments, we are talking about to install them, repair them – lots of ergy supply? When it started in the to attain our leading position. Now,thousands of jobs – a whole new en- workers will be hired to do this.” 1970s it was in the midst of the oil European institutions must create anergy sector. These offshore wind pow- crisis. It was a way of creating new economic environment that makeser stations are so big you can’t have “Today, 20% of wind energy comes jobs for trainees, metal workers and further expansion of wind energy pos-them on the land; you have to have from wind power in Denmark. Its in- researchers.” sible. If we only focus on budget cutsthem at sea. Why don’t we respect troduction was combined with very during this financial crisis, we willthe sea instead of polluting it like in advanced education and training “Denmark is a world leader in re- lose momentum and the Americansthe Gulf of Mexico?” programmes, which had strong popu- newables, in particular wind energy. and Chinese will take over.” “We need new training programmes” Anne Paneels Senior Advisor for the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) “There aren’t enough people trained We need new training programmes. the situation in every sector, poten- “It is important to attract young peo-for the new skills needed. We’ve ex- I think there should be social dia- tial for job creation, conditions for ple to science and engineering, asperienced burn outs because there logue instruments created at secto- creating quality jobs, anticipating the well as qualified technicians.”are too few people to do the job. ral level that have a good picture of needs of the future.” “Clean energy is one of the keys” Maria da Graça Carvalho MEP in the Group of the European People’s Party (Conservatives and Christian Democrats) and former Science Minister of Portugal“During the crisis that we have today and researchers. I’m an optimist try into consideration more than we “We lack a lot of engineers in Eu-we need to make the right invest- in the sense that after each cri- have done over the last 20 years.” rope. It is very important to attractments. That means investing in re- sis there has been a technological young people to science. There aresearch, education and training, and breakthrough followed by a boom. “In some more traditional sectors also very few women in mechanicalthe sectors that will be key for Euro- The next industrial revolution is pow- the number of jobs will decline leav- engineering.”pean competitiveness and industry. ered by clean energy.” ing a lot of scope for the transfer ofClean energy is one of the keys – skills. The oil industry is going to go “I think there is the political will forit helps all of us to be able to pay “Countries that have kept their en- through a real crisis, accelerated by change; we have advanced a lot inless for energy, to have better health gineering models, like Germany, are the unfortunate oil leak in the Gulf the last five years – now we have aand air quality and protect against benefiting from this. We should rein- of Mexico. One way out: transfer this binding strategy on renewables.”climate change. But we need to be force our manufacturing and techno- technology and these jobs into off-prepared. We need more engineers logical base. We should take indus- shore wind.” “This is an opportunity for real change” Christian Kjaer Chief Executive, European Wind Energy Association“Our power plants are ageing. We There certainly is investor interest levels of spending after the oil cri- offshore sector. Wind power andhave to do something so this is an and European renewable energy leg- sis in the 1970s. For renewables, other renewables are insurancesopportunity to completely change islation provides a strong road map.” there is a huge need for additional against fuel depletion and rising en-the way we produce, transmit and research. We need more funding to ergy costs in the future.”consume energy. I think there is po- “Today we are spending one fourth repeat the success we had in de-litical will to do what is necessary. on energy research compared to the veloping onshore wind power in the
  3. 3. green jobs Right for the job As the job-creating potential of re- Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for “Environmental industries [...] di- “To change the world’s energy model newable technologies is realised far Europe (ALDE) rectly employ around 3.4 million peo- is the most significant challenge fac- and wide, more and more political ple and account for around 2.2% of ing humanity in this generation, not and industry groups and leaders are “The way to create both jobs and Europe’s GDP That is more than the . only for the impact on climate change making the green economy one of wealth is to invest in new technolo- pharmaceuticals or aerospace indus- but also for its effects on the eco- their main priorities. gies providing us with the energy re- tries. And each direct job in Europe’s nomic model.” sources of the future. It is through eco-industries creates between 1.3 new ways for creating sustainable and 1.9 indirect jobs.” Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez In the European Parliament... Zapatero, June 2009 and non polluting energy that the Un- ion can lead in the world.” EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie European People’s Party (EPP) Hedegaard, at “Opportunities for Green Growth “These are jobs for the future - jobs in Estonia” conference in Tallinn, Estonia, in our rapidly expanding renewables ALDE Five Year Strategic Programme for the “We want to position Europe as a European Commission, 2009-2014 May 2010 industry...” world leader in this [green technol- ogy] sector in order to boost our eco- The Greens–European Free Alliance World and national leaders... Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance and nomic growth and create more jobs (Greens–EFA) Sustainable Growth John Swinney, launch- and at the same time make Europe ing Scotland’s Green jobs blueprint to create “Building a robust clean energy sec- 16,000 new green jobs, February 2009 less dependent on fossil fuels.” “We have an opportunity to tackle tor is how we will create the jobs of the environmental challenges we are the future -- jobs that pay well and EPP election manifesto 2009 cannot be outsourced.” The unions... facing by promoting a shift to a sus- Progressive Alliance of Socialists and tainable economy, with lasting social “The ETUC considers that this fight US President Barack Obama, January 2010 Democrats (S&D) and employment benefits.” against climate change needs to be Greens-EFA description of ‘Green New Deal’, “By putting the right incentives for grasped for the opportunities it offers “In the next five years, our ambition initially published May 2009 low-carbon growth, we can help cre- for both the development of new jobs is to create new jobs and leave a less ate the investment, export and jobs and the transformation of old ones.” polluted world for our children. Tack- European Commission... we need to bring back economic European Trade Union Confederation, ‘The ling climate change and tackling the prosperity.” climate change, the industrial policies and the financial crisis form a single common “Meeting the EU’s objective of 20% ways out of the crisis’ challenge facing the world.” UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate of renewable sources of energy alone Change Chris Huhne, July 2010 has the potential to create more than S&D policy document ‘Tackling climate change and creating new sustainable jobs’, February 600 000 jobs in the EU. Adding the “We are choosing to develop renew- 2010 20% target on energy efficiency, it is able energy, we will guarantee the well over 1 million new jobs that are prices, but we want jobs to be cre- at stake.” ated in our country.” 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, June 2009 inclusive growthPhoto: iStock
  4. 4. green jobsLooking forward:the future of wind energy jobsAccording to EWEA’s latest statistics, the wind en-ergy sector will create some 250,000 new jobs inEurope in the next decade. This addition will takethe total number of wind energy jobs to 280,000 by2015 and 450,000 by 2020. If you work that out ona weekly basis, that’s 450 new jobs in wind energyper week over the next decade.In a 2009 study on green jobs , the European Com-mission said that, as a whole, the green sectorcould create 2.8 million new jobs and add 1.1% toGDP growth, if the EU’s renewable energy 20% tar- Photo: Vestasget is met.As the offshore wind power sector expands, an in-creasing share of new job openings is likely to be inoffshore wind power. EWEA expects employment in 2007 EMPLOYMENT IN THE WIND ENERGY SECTOR BY ACTIVITYthe European offshore wind power sector to exceed Share of direct Direct Indirect TOTAL employment employment employmentthe onshore wind energy sector around 2025. By2030, over 60% of the total employment in wind en- Wind turbine manufacturing 37.0% 40,182 42,716 Component manufacture 22.0% 23,892ergy expected to be found in offshore wind energy. Wind farm development 16.0% 17,376 Installation, operation and maintenance 11.0% 11,946However, to get to this point, we need to place IPP/utilities 9.0% 9,774greater emphasis on three key areas – expanding Consultants 3.0% 3,258the offshore wind power sector and developing the R&D/universities 1.0% 1,086supply chain; building new and improved electric- Financial 0.3% 325.8ity grids while developing the power markets and Others 0.7% 760.2their mechanisms, and the training and education TOTAL 100.0% 108,600 42,716 151,316of more engineers and technical staff. Where can I get a job in wind? Try EWEA’s job portal - Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Maria da Graca Carvalho and Anne Pan- neels were speaking at an EWEA meeting entitled: ‘Green jobs – more than a pink elephant?’ on 9 June 2010 in Brussels. The next EWEA meeting will held on 13 October in Brussels, “How Europe can benefit from reducing CO2 emisions by 30%”. The keynote speakers will be EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and European Parliament Environment Committee chair Jo Leinen. More information on Printed by artoos Give Europe a breath of fresh air     certificate number: 568-53520-0810-1057 Over the next 12 years, Europe must build new power capacity equal to half the current total. We must use this opportunity to construct a modern power system that meets the challenges of the 21st century. Breath Printed by artoos of FRESH AIR   Printed by artoos Give Europe a breath of fresh air by adopting a wind turbine at    certificate number: 568-53520-0810-1057    certificate number: 568-53520-0810-1057 About EWEA 130x113b.indd 1 12/08/10 11:37 Printed by artoos  EWEA is the voice of the wind industry, actively promoting the utilisation of wind power in Europe and worldwide. It now has over 650 members from almost 60 countries including   manufacturers with a 90% share of the world wind power market, plus component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables associations, developers, electricity  providers, finance and insurance companies and consultants. certificate number: 568-53520-0810-1057 Tel: +32 2 213 1811 - Fax: +32 2 213 1890 - E-mail: -