868,000 Jobs in Offshore Wind Energy Segment by 2030: Rystad

868,000 Jobs in Offshore Wind Energy Segment by 2030: Rystad

There is one energy segment, according to Rystad Energy analysis, that will be the new hiring haven for energy jobs- offshore wind.

The COVID-19 downturn has caused employment rates to plummet in different energy industries. As industries return to normal, employment rates are expected to gradually pick up, however, there is one energy segment, according to Rystad Energy analysis, that will be the new hiring haven for energy jobs- offshore wind. The analysis finds that demand for offshore wind staff will triple by the end of the decade, surging to 868,000 full-time jobs from an estimated 297,000 in 2020. In fact, the hiring spree will already be visible in the middle of the decade, as job demand could reach about 589,000 in 2025.

It is estimated that the offshore wind capacity will grow to 110 gigawatts (GW) by 2025 and 250 GW by 2030. And this growth will need a lot of skilled employees to sustain and achieve it. 

The analysis has revealed its calculations for the staffing needs in the number of full-time equivalents (FTE) workers – one year of full-time employment for one person regardless of actual hours – and included only direct and indirect jobs driven by offshore wind capacity deployment globally.

Here Direct Jobs, relate to the development manufacturing, construction, installation, and operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms. While Indirect Jobs relate to materials and services consumed, such as workers in steel plants supporting offshore wind turbines, electronics workers at companies supplying nacelle components, and staff of renewable energy regulatory institutions.

The jobs are grouped as construction and development (C&D) – which are typically capital expenditures – and operation and maintenance (O&M) roles – which relate to operational expenditures. The C&D jobs are expected to account for most of the employment over the next decade, although its share of the total employment decreases as we approach 2030.

O&M jobs, meanwhile, driven by the installed capacity of wind farms, have contributed about 7 percent of the total job count in 2020 and will make up about 12 percent in 2025. With a rapid increase in offshore wind installed capacity, O&M will gain a larger share of the total jobs. C&D roles will still dominate, however, because a typical offshore wind farm spends 60-70 percent 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 percent of the total potential, while installation jobs account for 10 percent and project development for 4 percent. O&M adds a 20 percent share to the total jobs potential.

It also adds that by 2030, turbine manufacturing will continue to create most of the jobs, accounting for 54 percent of the total. Therefore, turbine manufacturers such as Siemens Gamesa, Vestas, Goldwind and GE Renewable Energy are expected to employ additional labor and establish more factories for bigger turbines in the coming years.

Moving on to geographical developments, the analysis estimated that Europe, Asia outside of China, and the Americas will drive the global jobs creation in the offshore wind sector. Europe, which dominates the offshore wind installed capacity globally, could expect to see demand for jobs more than triple by 2030, from 110,000 jobs 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 major jobs boost, most noticeable in the second half of this decade, as South Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and Taiwan are expected to contribute significant offshore wind capacity. China, meanwhile, could see demand for jobs stagnate towards 2030, despite the current activity ramp-up.

In the Americas, the US will be a major driver for offshore wind deployment because of the ambitious plans to decarbonise the power sector by 50 percent by 2030 put forward by the current Democratic administration.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.