By Land or By Sea: It’s all about the Supply Chain

» By | Published 30 Nov 2011

Cross posted from the AWEA Blog:

By Land or By Sea: It’s all about the Supply Chain

Posted: 2011-11-30 Lauren Glickman, Social Media/Online Advocacy Mgr

Day #2 at EWEA Offshore 2011 focuses on potential for job growth

Economic hard times are not unique to the United States; the financial crisis of 2008-2009 and resulting recession have taken their toll throughout the European Union.  In these tough times, the offshore wind industry’s massive supply chain offers immense opportunity for job creation all across Europe.

According to EWEA’s latest report “Wind in our Sails – The coming of Europe’s offshore wind energy industry,” the potential rewards are huge. EWEA estimates that Europe will create around 273,000 new jobs over the next decade, bringing the industry to nearly half a million employed by 2020. By 2030, it’s expected that almost 62% of the jobs associated with the wind industry will be from the offshore wind sector.

It’s important to acknowledge the diversity of jobs associated with the supply chain for both offshore and land-based wind. The upper level of the supply chain consists of wind turbine manufactures, structural manufactures, electrical equipment suppliers, marine contractors, cable suppliers and installers, broader contractors and port operators. There are also smaller categories dealing with certificates, project management, health and safety, marine warranty surveyors, insurance and more. The European supply chain is further broken down in this helpful infographic.

It’s important to understand its impacts even areas without short-term plans for wind development. Look no further than in Eastern Europe, where there is no significant wind development expected to come online prior to 2020, yet Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have identified significant supply chain opportunities. EWEA’s report also identifies the huge opportunity to rejuvenate port cities which have been hit particularly hard by the economic downturn and unable to continue with traditional activities.

We have seen similar trends in United States in the development of our own wind supply chain, which consists of over 400 manufacturing facilities in 43 states. In these tough economic times, the wind industry and its robust supply chain and manufacturing sector provides an opportunity to lead the world out of this financial crisis and create a sustainable economic future. To learn more about efforts to protect these types of jobs in the U.S. visit: