US achieves 100GW installed wind capacity - will they be able to continue growth plans?
Last week the United States reached an important milestone in its renewable energy journey as it achieved 100GW of wind power installed capacity! The wind industry currently employs over 110,000 workers and considering the US’ focus on the development of wind as a source of energy this number will certainly continue to grow rapidly in the coming years.
According to a report by Mckinsey the US’ East Coast has committed to bold targets of 10GW of offshore wind installed capacity by 2030 which will require the aggressive hiring and training of 35,000 full time employees in the coming years.
I have been in the US just over 1 month and have already had conversations with several of Spencer Ogden’s valued customers in the region who have raised concerns over the lack of available skills to support their upcoming Wind projects.
Does the industry have a plan to address this skills gap? Are the states along the East Coast prepared to make the investment required in training of labour to support these projects? Where are the individuals with the knowledge and skills demanded by these projects going to come from?
The wind sector is not unique in the difficulty its facing hiring the skills needed to sustain growth; STEM subjects have been neglected for years by younger generations causing challenges to a range of sectors. Yet the fast pace growth sought by the US in its renewable energy sector is surely going to apply heavy pressure on an already tapped out talent pool.