Wind turbine with the blue sky in the background

Net zero, economy and jobs at risk

A new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research has found that the UK is missing out on major opportunities across employment and the economy.

This comes as the UK looks set to miss its goal of meeting offshore wind targets by 18 years, as a result of the slow pace at which manufacturing and installation of offshore wind farms is taking place. According to the IPPR, these issues can be reduced by tripling the rate at which farms are installed, however this would take government investment.

If the UK had taken the opportunities that were presented to it by the huge market for wind installation – as other leading European nations such as Denmark, Spain and Germany have done – then an additional £30 million would have been generated between 2008 and 2022.

The report from the IPPR has found that it would take £3.2 billion worth of investment in UK manufacturing facilities to bring benefits such as tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs, especially in small and medium-sized businesses. By not capitalising on the opportunity that is presented to the UK, not only would net zero ambitions be put at risk, but it would also undermine the UK’s energy independence and miss the opportunity to achieve economic growth.

IPPR quote on wind opportunities missed

A number of policy suggestions for the government have been made through the report, including:

  • Fix the current demand problem
  • Support businesses to expand capacity
  • Upgrade infrastructure

Simone Gasperin, Associate Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research, said:

“The UK has missed out on becoming a world leader not just in wind power, but also in wind manufacturing. This has cost thousands of jobs, billions for the economy, and is putting future net zero targets for wind deployment at risk.

“However, the UK is uniquely placed to become a world leader in manufacturing equipment for offshore wind farms. The government should grasp this opportunity with both hands and do all it can to maximise the manufacturing opportunity for its offshore wind power targets.”

 

Image credit: iStock

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