wind

Strong European market for wind turbines in 2010 and 250,000 new jobs by 2020

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The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has released its forecast for wind power installations in 2010. It expects 10 gigawatt (GW) of new wind power capacity to be installed in the EU during 2010, taking total installed capacity by the end of 2010 to almost 85 GW - an increase of 13%. It has also announced that it expects the European wind energy sector to create over 250,000 new jobs in Europe in the next decade.

Last year – a record year for wind power installation – saw 10.163 GW of new wind power capacity installed, constituting 39% of all new power capacity installed in the EU that year. Total installed wind power capacity by the end of 2009 was 74.767 GW.

“We predict another strong year for wind turbine installations in Europe, repeating the high level achieved in 2009,” said Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA. “What is encouraging is that, unlike in 2009, the 2010 results consist of orders placed after the start of the financial crisis. This shows continued and strong investor confidence in the technology.”

“It is too early to say whether, for a third year running, there will be more wind energy capacity installed than any other electricity generating technology, but it is clear that wind energy will be competing for the top spot with new gas power plants,” added Kjaer.

2010 will see more installations in offshore wind power, with up to 1 GW of new capacity expected to be installed during the year compared to 577 MW installed in 2009.

EWEA expects France and Italy to again install around 1 GW each in 2010. The expected decline in installations in Spain will be more than compensated for by a doubling of installations in the new member states – led by Romania and Bulgaria - and significant growth in the UK, particularly offshore. Germany is expected to be the largest market this year, closely followed by the UK.

250,000 new jobs in Europe by 2020

By the end of 2009, the wind energy sector employed 192,000 people in Europe. In addition, European companies employ tens of thousands of people outside of Europe. However, Christian Kjaer, Chief executive of the EWEA has said that his 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”.

Three key areas - offshore wind, electricity grids, and the training and education of more engineers and technical staff - were identified as 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 Rasmussen, “Offshore wind has the largest growth potential and needs to receive stronger public support from and within the European Union”.

"The Green Revolution is only the latest in a number of technological and economic revolutions in Europe's history” said Da Graça Carvalho. “The crucial factors are whether or not Europe will be able to develop top-end skills in research but also in the fields of technical maintenance. With regards to jobs, a decentralised renewable energy based economy will generate more employment than an excessively rationalised and centralised system."

“Also critical will be to satisfy the conditions for a just transition to a low carbon economy. This includes consultation bodies involving social partners at intersectoral level and in each key sector, dedicated to R&D and investment choices, to the development of skills and adapted training strategies that are well thought out and provided at the right time thanks to social dialogue and the anticipation of needs, ensuring that the jobs created will be quality jobs,” said Panneels.

The coming years will see the development of a new offshore wind industry. 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.

For additional information:

EWEA

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