The offshore wind sector could boost the UK’s GDP by 0.4% by 2020 and support more than 97,000 jobs, according to a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
The report, commissioned by Mainstream Renewable Power, says that by 2030 the sector could be contributing 0.6% to GDP, supporting 173,000 jobs and giving an £18.8 billion boost to net exports, largely plugging the country’s current balance of trade deficit.
But a more aggressive approach to offshore wind could yield even greater dividends, providing 1% of GDP, creating up to 215,000 jobs and delivering net exports of £22.5 billion.
“The value of offshore wind to the UK is truly significant,” says Mainstream Renewable Power’s CEO Eddie O’Connor. “The net economic benefit to UK plc from investment in offshore wind is considerable.”
A follow-up paper later this year will show that offshore wind provides an attractive investment for diversified, low-carbon generation resource portfolio, he adds.
While all forms of renewable generating capacity will be needed, the UK’s wind resources give the country a comparative advantage globally in offshore wind development.
The report underlines the importance of the government’s strategy to reduce the cost of offshore wind to £100/MWh by 2020, adds O’Connor.
“CEBR’s findings… the very significant potential economic benefit that this sector will deliver to the UK,” he says.
For further information:
UK renewables sector could support 400,000 jobs by 2020 (24-Apr)
European wind industry to boost growth and jobs, says EWEA (17-Apr)
Co-ordinating offshore wind development could save £3.5 billion (2-Mar)
13 June 2012