UK Wind Power Industry Gearing Up For 60,000 Jobs

Last year, the British Wind Energy Association commissioned Bain & Company and SQW to produce a report investigating skills and employment in the wind industry, from which estimates were produced of current employment in the wind sector, future employment based on scenarios of delivery in 2020, and an analysis of the skills shortages affecting the industry.
  
Meeting late last week in Liverpool at the British wind industry’s annual conference, leaders from the UK power sector business, government and academia signed up to a new sector training and skills route map to train up to 60,000 new technicians and engineers.
  
According to BWEA Chief Executive Maria McCaffery, if just half the manufacturing for the next generation of offshore wind turbines and wind farm infrastructure occurs in the UK, then the wind energy industry will grow 10-fold from just 6,000 jobs today to 60,000 by 2020.
  
"If we can get this right, we can create thousands of green collar jobs for the UK, and wind and renewables will power the green economy for a generation to come."
  
Also announced at the BWEA31 conference was the prediction that UK wind power capacity will exceed nuclear power generation in the region by 2012.
  
The UK wind power sector may seem unstoppable; however the industry is facing major challenges at local council level. The British Wind Energy Association’s (BWEA) State of the Industry Report shows that despite the strong growth in the number of wind farms being built, there is now an alarming drop in the number of new applications being approved locally. 
  
Figures revealed at BWEA31 show that local council approvals of wind farm applications have fallen to a shocking new low of just 25%.
 
Former Deputy Prime Minister Rt Hon John Prescott MP, who was the UK’s Chief Negotiator for the Kyoto Climate Change Treaty and is now the Council of Europe Rapporteur on Climate Change called the situation "scandalous".