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U.K. Offshore Wind May Add 215,000 Jobs, Research Company Says

A U.K. offshore wind industry could create as many as 215,000 jobs and boost exports by up to 22.5 billion pounds ($35 billion) through 2030, a researcher said.

Development of the industry may “see an annual 1 percent uplift” in gross domestic product, the Centre for Economics and Business Research said in a report commissioned by Irish wind developer Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd. and published today.

The estimates based on a “more aggressive but achievable” scenario of installing 49 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030 compare with a central scenario resulting in 97,000 jobs created by 2020, assuming offshore wind generation reaches 17 gigawatts. Developing 37 gigawatts would probably create 173,000 jobs.

The government and wind industry this week publish plans to cut offshore wind costs. Britain is seeking to reduce the costs to 100 pounds a megawatt hour by 2020 from about 150 pounds to 200 pounds now, to secure power supply while cutting pollution.

“By helping the U.K. reduce fossil fuel imports, and by creating a new industry, offshore wind will create jobs, assist in balancing the trade deficit and boost GDP at a time of economic uncertainty,” Dublin-based Mainstream Renewable’s Chief Executive Officer Eddie O’Connor said in a statement.

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