According to a studyreleasedtoday by the United Kingdom-funded Carbon Trust, the global offshore wind-power market is poised to grow in capacity to 1,150 gigawatts — and could be worth $273 billion yearly by 2050. With its vast, gusty coastlines, the UK has immense offshore wind capacity and the Trust estimates that the country could own a whopping 10-percent of the global wind power market by 2050, with 230,000 workers employed in the industry.
Offshore wind is also taking on high importance across Europe, as it’s expected to play a major role in helping the European Union reach its goal to have 20 percent of its energy produced from renewable resources by the year 2020.
Just as growth in the clean energy sector is contributing to a “clean energy economy” in countries around the world, the research finds that the UK’s economy will also benefit substantially by the growth in offshore wind. The study looked in detail at jobs and revenues by industry sector, including the manufacturing of turbines (GE recently announced it’s expanding its wind turbine manufacturing in the UK), building turbine foundations, installing wind farms, collecting and transmitting the resulting power, and operating and maintaining offshore wind farms.
It found that offshore wind could represent a gross contribution to UK GDP generated by business of up to £10bn a year, or £100bn cumulatively between 2010 and 2050. The study found that “by 2050, the greatest contribution for the UK will be created by the operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms, followed by turbine manufacture and installation.”
Benj Sykes, director of Innovations at the Carbon Trust, said, “This analysis confirms that offshore wind is a strategically important economic asset for the UK that can deliver long term growth and energy security. The economic prize for the UK economy is vast and we have to grab it now.”
* Read the Carbon Trust announcement