10,000 more wind power engineers required to reach climate target

​The wind power industry is expanding and the need for qualified engineers is increasing substantially. "Within offshore wind power alone up to 10,000 more engineers will be required to achieve the EU's climate targets by 2020," says Kersti Karltorp, researcher at the Division of Environmental Systems Analysis.

According to the EU's targets for 2020, 20% of our energy must derive from renewable sources. Kersti Karltorp has studied what is required to increase use of offshore wind power and is calling for a broader approach.

  “Besides new technology, we need to review what resources are available. For example, are the educational programmes keeping up with the development and what financial solutions are available for these technologies?”

There are substantial differences between the EU member countries in terms of qualified engineers within offshore wind power and the time scale for the transition will vary. Countries with long traditions in the wind power industry have already largely adapted their programmes.

  “In Denmark, where there is already close cooperation between the business world and academia, it is easier for industry to communicate which types of expertise they need. The UK, on the other hand, which is investing substantially in offshore wind power, needs to both launch its own industry and adapt its educational system. However, not all engineers need to be newly-qualified, they can come from other industries and have relevant backgrounds,” Kersti Karltorp emphasises.

  “Whether we are going to achieve the target depends on a multitude of factors, not just expertise and funding. I believe it is possible to scale up offshore wind power by an order of magnitude with the targets set, but it will require actors involved in the technology, as well as politicians, taking a system perspective and trying to prevent future bottlenecks.”

Karin Ljungklint
Translation: Xplanation
Photo: Jan-Olof Yxell

Kersti Karltorp will defend her thesis on Friday 3 October 2014: Scaling up renewable energy technologies - The role of resource mobilisation in the growth of technological innovation systems.

Read more about the EU's climate and energy package

Kersti Karltorp, kersti.karltorp@chalmers.se, +46 31 772 49 07 

Page manager Published: Thu 02 Oct 2014.