The installed capacity of wind energy has risen steadily for nearly two decades, increasing from about 92.5 gigawatts (GW) in 2007 to more than 466.5 GW in 2016, out of which about 452.5 GW is onshore. IRENA estimates that achieving the energy transition in the G20 countries would require cumulative investments in the wind energy sector of about USD 3.3 trillion by 2030 and USD 6.3 trillion by 2050. Such investments can create value, and result in socioeconomic benefits including income generation and job creation.
Worldwide employment (direct and indirect) in onshore and offshore wind energy grew at a steady pace reaching more than 1 million jobs last fiscal. The wind energy sector employed an estimated 1.2 million in 2016, primarily fuelled by deployment in China, the United States, Germany, India and Brazil. More than half of these jobs were in Asia, where the share of global wind energy employment increased from 54 percent in 2014 to 56 percent in 2016. Over this period, employment in the sector rose by 35 percent in North America, 9 percent in Latin America, and 3 percent in the European Union. Furthermore, wind power could support more than 3.8 million jobs in 2050.
For a country deploying wind energy, the potential to generate income and create jobs will depend on the extent to which the local industry along the different segments of the value chain can leverage existing economic activities, and create new ones. The analysis in this study focuses on the core segments of the value chain: project planning, procurement, manufacturing, transport, installation and grid connection, operation and maintenance (O&M) and decommissioning.
In designing policies to support value creation from the development of a domestic wind industry, a deeper understanding of the requirements in terms of labour, skills, materials and equipment is needed.
Credits: IRENA Report
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