The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has created a report commissioned by Mainstream Renewable Power, which examines the economic impact of the emerging offshore wind industry in the UK.
The report calls for the government to provide more support for offshore wind power in the UK as it finds that the sector could employ nearly 100,000 people and contribute 0.4% of the UK’s GDP by 2020.
A government and industry led report in 2010 concluded that the offshore wind energy could transform the UK from a net energy importer to a net energy exporter by the middle of the century, generating the equivalent energy provided by one billion barrels of oil, and employing more than 145,000. However this new report suggests that by 2015 the offshore wind could employ 45,000, by 2020 that number will be 97,000, and by as early as 2030 the sector will be employing 173,000 people.
Eddie O'Connor, chief executive of Mainstream Renewable Power, said the report was designed to help companies realise the potential of offshore wind. He said that the UK has “have embarked on a one-off transition to a sustainable economy. All forms of renewable energy, from solar energy to tidal energy, will contribute to delivering this transition in the UK.”
“But offshore wind provides this country with a clear global comparative advantage, particularly when the UK government and industry will this week publish their strategy to reduce the cost of offshore wind to £100/MWh by 2020.”
“Cebr's findings underline the importance of that strategy, and the very significant potential economic benefit that this sector will deliver to the UK.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com