Renewable energy

Analysis for the Committee on Climate Change estimated that the low carbon and renewable energy sector has the potential to grow 11% per year between 2015 and 2030 – four times faster than the rest of the economy. Around 185,000 people (full-time equivalents) currently work in the sector with many more employed through supply chains; this figure could rise to 694 000 direct jobs by 2030 according to research commissioned by the LGA.

MHI Vestas Offshore Wind

MHI Vestas Offshore Wind is a joint venture between Vestas Wind Systems and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). The company designs, manufactures, installs and services wind turbines for the offshore wind industry, and has an important blade manufacturing site at Newport on the Isle of Wight.

Two years ago the arrival of new turbine moulds signaled an expansion that promises to add 380 direct jobs at the Isle of Wight factory and paint and logistics facility at Fawley, and an additional 720 indirect and induced jobs locally. The overall economic benefit to the Solent region has been calculated at £42 million per year once the second mould is fully operational.

The company also works with the Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight College and Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, to provide training and certification programs in green energy manufacturing skills, which they claim will “elevate the regional composites industry as well.”

Here are two examples of company projects and their direct / indirect / induced benefits:

  1. In 2014 the company installed 72 offshore wind turbines and a transformer station off the coast of Zeebrugge, Belgium. The project supplies 120,000 households, which is equivalent to a reduction of 240,000 tons of CO2 per year.
  2. In 2015 the company installed 73 turbines off the coast of East Yorkshire covering an area of approximately 25 square kilometres. The project has boosted the local economy, especially in the nearby town of Grimsby, where 1000 jobs were created during the construction phase.

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