The renewable energy industry (in the UK) could support 400,000 jobs by 2020, and the UK has now taken a global lead in offshore wind. The European Commission forecasts that low-carbon generation and energy efficiency could generate five million jobs across the EU by 2020. The wind, wave and tidal energy sector directly employs 18,465 people full time. The sector also supports 15,908 indirect jobs, making a total of over 34,300 employees. The number of employees in offshore wind has doubled since 2010.
More than 80% of all employers in the wind, wave and tidal industries employ fewer than 250 people and 56% employ fewer than 25 people, showing that SMEs are at the heart of the sector, and are driving the growth in employment, reflecting the depth and diversity of the industry.
More than 30,000 jobs could be created in the next decade in offshore wind. The scale of the opportunity is massive, but success is not guaranteed. To really harness the economic benefits of technologies the UK must ensure that there is certainty for industry - a plentiful and skillful workforce of renewable energy engineers is crucial - the country must invest in the right people and develop the right skills.