Wind power contributes to economic growth

Wind power plays an important role in job creation and in global economic growth. The Global Wind Energy Council (GEWC) states that for every MW of capacity installed in a country in any given year, 13 full time jobs are created in factories, utility suppliers, development of wind farms, construction, transport, etc.

The expansion of the wind industry is currently a key factor in the GDP of many world economies. According to a paper from the EWEA (European Wind Energy Association) “The impact of wind energy on employment and the economy”, published in April 2012, the direct contribution from the renewable energy sector to the European GDP was 17.6 billion euros in 2010, which amounts to 0.26% of the European GDP. That same year net exports had a value of 5.7 billion euros and it is worth noting that only 9.9% of the energy input was imported, a figure that demonstrates the competitiveness of the European wind industry. Also, the increase in participation of the wind industry in the European GDP between 2007-2010 is larger than the overall GDP growth during the same period, demonstrating that the wind sector carries a lot of weight even in times of recession.

Forecast direct and indirect employment in the wind power sector in number of jobs for 2020 and 2030.

Forecast direct and indirect employment in the wind power sector in number of jobs for 2020 and 2030.

The study “Analysis of the value creation potential of wind energy policies” conducted by EDPR and Acciona for Ernst & Young in 2012, shows how wind power generates more value for European economies than energy generation with gas combined cycle stations. The study shows that the larger initial investment that is necessary with wind technology is more than compensated by the benefits that the technology generates: job creation, tax revenue, energy security and the reduction of emissions. The study concludes that wind energy contributes significantly to GDP in the majority of European countries and that it has the potential to create a large number of jobs. In Spain and France, for example, wind energy creates twice as many jobs than gas combined cycle stations for every million euros invested, which in turn creates more tax revenue. Every euro invested in wind energy generates between 27 and 52 cents through taxes in Europe, depending on the fiscal policy of the country in question.

According to figures from the Spanish Wind Energy Association, the wind sector in Spain employs 20,000 people, exports technology with a value of 2 billion euros every year and directly or indirectly contributes 2.6 billion euros to the country’s GDP, a figure that represents 0.24% of total GDP. The sector also gives a boost to the rural communities where the wind farms are located through job creation, purchases from local suppliers, increased demand for services, and other benefits.