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The 8 MW turbine from MHI Vestas, at the Burbo Bank Extension wind farm off the UK.

UK’s Offshore Energy Industry Risks Missing Out on 95,000 Jobs

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September 12, 2023

(Bloomberg) —

If the UK doesn’t significantly ramp up renewables investment at a time when oil and gas is in decline, as many as 95,000 potential offshore energy jobs will be at risk, according to Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University.

While the workforce has vast potential to grow if Britain meets clean-energy goals, slow progress may mean offshore jobs drop 15% by the end of the decade, Paul de Leeuw, director of the university’s Energy Transition Institute, said in a report published Tuesday.

The UK’s 2030 climate targets include 50 gigawatts of offshore wind. Yet plans have been thrown into disarray as an auction for new projects failed to attract any bids last week. Britain is the world’s second-biggest offshore-wind market, but inflation pressures and soaring costs have hampered further expansion.

The government also aims to have 10 gigawatts of hydrogen and as much as 30 million tons a year of carbon capture capacity by 2030. A large chunk of clean-energy jobs will go to workers currently in the fossil-fuel industry, and if goals are met, the offshore workforce could grow by around 50%, the report showed.

“The big prize of a significant jobs gain is still within our collective grasp,” the institute said. “But falling short on energy-transition targets and ambitions will mean the opportunity is lost.”

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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