Europeâ€™s wind market has a shortage of workers, lacking as many as 5,500 qualified staff a year, new research unveiled at the European Wind Energy Conference has shown.
If no changes are made, the shortage could reach 10,000 a year by 2020 and 18,000 by 2030, which would lead to serious project delays and higher costs for new wind farms since salaries would have to be increased to attract workers.
Some of the recommended steps to help close the gap include boosting science, technology, engineering and maths skills across vocational schools and universities, and developing more wind energy-related training courses.
According to Garrad Hassan chairman Andrew Garrad, there is a â€œdesperately short supplyâ€ of engineers and unless action is taken, the problem will only get worse. He also says that more than half of the shortfall could be in operations and maintenance, two crucial components in developing and activating new projects.
I think one key factor for increasing interest in the field is to create attractive clean energy programs at vocational schools, allowing students to get into their field of choice (wind, solar, hydropower, etc) and work their way up in the industry. What do you think will help bridge the gap between project demands and worker availability?
Image CC licensed by Lance Cheung