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UK must act now if we are to develop offshore wind jobs say ippr

UK must act now if we are to develop offshore wind jobs say ipprIn a report published today, the Institute for Public Policy Research

(ippr) has said that without a rapid expansion of offshore windcapacity the

UK will struggle to achieve its legally-binding target of 15% of renewable

energy from renewable sources by 2020. It also says that without greater

government support, the opportunity to create up to 70,000 long-term jobsin

parts of the country where they are needed, and its associated export

potential, will be lost.In a new paper, ippr says that despite having the greatest offshore wind

potential of any country in the world, the UK is poorly placed to benefit.

Despite ambitious plans to expand offshore wind farms over the next decade,

only 700 people are currently employed in the sector and there is only one

UK-based factory that manufactures parts for wind turbine parts.Matthew Lockwood, Senior Research Fellow for ippr, said:“Offshore wind has great potential for UK jobs but we risk being blown off

course. The government’s pledge to achieve ambitious renewable energy

targets by 2020 shows it is serious about its potential but we need to

follow through with concrete policies to create greater certainty for

industry, maximise the potential for the UK economy and realise our

environmental goals.”Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary, commented:“The offshore wind industry could create tens of thousands of good, green

jobsin the UK but the recession has shaken the industry’s confidence and

exposed the need for Government support for green infrastructure investment.“The ippr’s excellent analysis shows how this can be done through an

offshore wind investment programme but this has to be matched by developing

workforce skills – shortages of engineering and manufacturing skills must

be addressed now as a green answer to the recession.”Following decisions by companies such as Iberdrola Renewables, to make cuts

to their planned UK investments, ippr says the sector needs to be given

greater confidence that the ambitions for developing the UK’s offshore wind

capacity will be delivered.Ippr also recommends that the UK government learns the lesson of industrial

activism from countries such as Denmark, Spain and Germany which have all

been successful in developing a local onshore wind industry, the report

argues for an ‘offshore wind investment programme’ to achieve this.The report argues that as well as maximising the number of jobs available,

the government also need to think more strategically about ensuring that

the workforce has the right skills to take advantage of those job

opportunities by assessing and addressing the shortage of engineering and

manufacturing skills in the UK.Download the report hereCheck out the latest jobs in offshore wind  globally by clicking here