Offshore wind energy: recession-busting thanks to European Energy Programme for Recovery

A mid-term review of the European Energy Programme for Recovery has found that offshore wind energy is the strongest performer of the three areas selected for funding in terms of investment, creating jobs and putting investment in place quickly.

The 4 billion Euro European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR) was launched in 2009 in response to the economic crisis and the need to meet EU energy policy objectives. Three areas - offshore wind energy, gas and electricity infrastructure projects and carbon capture and storage (CCS) - were selected for funding.

Vilma Radvilaite, Regulatory Affairs Advisor at EWEA said: "Offshore wind energy was allocated the smallest amount of funding - 565 million Euros or 14% of the total - and yet it has created ten times more jobs than CCS projects. Since 2009, a total of 4,000 jobs have been created in offshore wind projects financed under the EEPR compared to 400 in CCS, despite CCS being allocated nearly double (1,050 million Euros) the amount allotted to offshore wind.

"It shows that wind energy projects are an ideal way to stimulate economic growth and create jobs while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving our energy security. Investment in the wind power sector should be recognised as a way to restore Europe's economy to health. This report shows that stable legislative frameworks to promote the development of the wind industry should be maintained and enhanced, even in times of austerity," Radvilaite added.

Under the 4 billion Euro EEPR, 44 gas and electricity infrastructure projects, nine offshore wind energy projects and six CCS projects received funding.

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