Analysis by Rystad Energy suggests that demand for workers in the global offshore wind industry will triple by the end of the decade, surging to 868,000 full-time jobs from an estimated 297,000 in 2020
The energy analyst suggests that by 2025, demand for new employees could reach 589,000.
Rystad Energy estimates that offshore wind installed capacity will increase to 110 GW by 2025 and to 250 GW by 2030. “This huge rate of growth will require a lot of skilled employees,” said the company.
In its analysis, it categorised jobs into those created by construction and development (C&D) and operation and maintenance (O&M). C&D jobs are expected to account for most of the growth in employment over the next decade, although its share of total employment falls towards 2030.
O&M jobs, which are driven by installed capacity, contributed about 7% of the total job count in 2020 and will make up about 12% in 2025. With a rapid increase in installed capacity, O&M will gain a larger share of the total number of jobs. C&D roles will still dominate, however, because a typical offshore windfarm spends 60-70% of its capex in the lead-up to its commissioning, which takes between one and three years.
C&D roles related to manufacturing – turbines, cables, substations and foundations – contribute about 66% of the total potential. Installation jobs account for 10% and project development for 4%. O&M accounts for a 20% share of total jobs potential.
By the end of the decade, turbine manufacturing will continue to create most of the jobs, accounting for 54% of the total. Manufacturers such as Siemens Gamesa, Vestas and GE Renewable Energy are expected to employ additional staff and build more factories for larger turbines in the coming years.
Foundation manufacturing will contribute 8% of total jobs in 2030, followed by foundation installation with 5%, potentially leading to major employment opportunities.
Rystad Energy estimates that Europe, Asia (outside China) and the Americas will drive global job creation in the offshore wind sector. Europe, which dominates installed capacity globally could see the number of people employed more than triple by 2030, from 110,000 in 2020 to around 350,000. The expected growth will be especially noticeable over the next five years, as annual capacity additions in the region are increasing and the installed base is growing.
Asia, excluding China, will see a major jobs boost, most noticeably in the second half of the decade. South Korea, Vietnam, Japan and Taiwan are expected to contribute significant offshore wind capacity.
In the Americas, the US will be a major driver for offshore wind deployment because of ambitious plans to decarbonise the power sector by 50% by 2030. Rystad Energy estimates that the US will have almost 15 GW of offshore wind installed capacity by 2030, with 30% coming from recent solicitations held by New York State. Towards the end of the decade, Brazil is also likely to need many additional workers and has several large projects that are due to be commissioned around the turn of the decade.