The renewable energy industry is expected to create 400,000 jobs by 2020 across the UK, with most jobs being created in the northern part of the UK. 1700 jobs are due from new contracts in Scotland too as companies are trying to source for labour locally.
Recently, the ‘Meet the Buyer’ event held by County Durham firm Banks Renewables was attended by 150 energy firms. Banks Renewables is planning to construct the Moor House and Lambs Hill wind farms in Durham, and Tata Steel has a new £2m Offshore Processing Centre in Hartlepool to produce sections of pipe that will be used to make foundations for offshore wind turbines. To supply cabling, JDR Cables has invested £30m in upgrading its Hartlepool factory, which employed 130 people.
Scotland will see 1700 new jobs being offered by companies such as Gamesa, AREVA and SSE, while in Wales, 300 jobs will be needed to construct Pen-y-Cymoedd wind farm. In Northern Ireland, the Belfast shipyard has 75% of its capacity geared towards offshore renewables, with DONG Energy’s £40m improvements to Belfast Harbour. This means that the shipyard will have to furnish offshore wind farms such as the one West of Duddon, which alone creates 450 jobs.
In Newcastle, OGN is building a facility to manufacture offshore wind turbine foundations that will create 700 jobs during operations and a further 100 during the construction, plus 200 more jobs in the regional supply chain.
In the North West, Camell Laird and Siemens are creating 940 jobs at Gwynt y Môr windfarm and the Renewable Energy Engineering Centre in Manchester, while Dudgeon (560MW) and Centrica’s Race Bank (580MW) offshore wind farms will attract around £3bn of investment in south and east.