Thousands of jobs to be created with wind energy: Report

Short-term construction employment, permanent green jobs
||Last Updated: 02/01/2011

An average of 3,900 to 4,400 jobs could be created per year with the development and operation of offshore wind energy in Ontario between 2013 and 2026, according to a report from the Conference Board of Canada. It would also produce peak employment of 600 permanent positions in the operations and maintenance of offshore wind turbines.

Ontario’s push toward green, renewable energy has led to strong interest in developing offshore wind power and the emergence of such an industry would add between $4.8 and $5.5 billion to the province’s economy during the 2013-2026 period, according to the report Employment and Economic Impacts of Ontario’s Future Offshore Wind Power Industry. Development and operations of offshore wind in Ontario would create between 55,000 and 62,000 person-years of employment and lift real gross domestic product by a cumulative total of up to $5.6 billion over 2013 to 2026.

“An offshore wind industry in Ontario one that develops enough projects to be sustainable in the longer term — would create both short-term construction employment and permanent green jobs in the operations phase,” said Len Coad, director of environment, energy and technology policy at the Conference Board of Canada. “Should development progress as anticipated, it is likely that new industries will develop in the province to service the needs of the growing sector.”

There are currently no offshore wind farms in operation or under construction in North America, said the Conference Board, though two major Ontario projects are progressing toward implementation.