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Offshore wind industry generates jobs

In accordance with the 2008 “Leitstudie 2050” by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, it would be possible to cover 50% of the German demand for electricity from renewable sources as early as 2030. One third of that is to be generated by offshore wind farms alone. The Federal Government is supporting expansion of the offshore industry and has given the final go-ahead with the 2009 amendment to the Renewable Energy Law. It is intended that facilities with a total output rating of 25,000 megawatts be installed by 2030. This means that offshore wind energy exploitation will produce more electricity than any other renewable energy source in Germany. 

The installation, operation and maintenance of such facilities require new logistics concepts. The industry has responded swiftly and the number and size of wind energy installation contractors is growing. For example, additional manufacturing capacity is expanding along the coasts. This creates new jobs. But it is not only the coastal regions that are benefiting. A wind turbine needs about 3,000 tonnes of steel for its construction. This means that traditional companies such as Dillinger Hütte or Ilsenburger Grobblech (affiliated with the Salzgitter group) benefit thereof. According to the Bundesverband für Windenergie e.V. (BWE) (Federal Association for Wind Energy), five of the worldwide leading gear suppliers for wind power stations are located in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Furthermore, the Federal Association for Wind Energy anticipates a positive impact on the job market. A statement on the BWE internet pages says that one can count on a factor of 12.1 employees for every 1 million euro investment in the wind turbine industry. This results from the average turnover per mechanical engineering worker (approx. EUR 150,000) and a conservative estimate of 60 percent for additional indirect effects. It confirms that these assumptions are supported by studies including input/output analyses carried out by the Federal Statistical Office. 

This means that offshore wind power generation is a true driver for jobs in Germany. According to estimates by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), about 215,000 people will be working in the European offshore wind industry alone by 2030. In order to meet the high demand for qualified staff in the renewable energy field, tailor-made training opportunities have developed ranging from training for wind turbine service technicians to a masters degree course for engineers. 

Excellent prospects for the future – for man and nature alike.