It is perhaps appropriate that given the title of this blog I dwell from time to time on the subject of wind power. Last week I broke you the story of the wind generator in Lincolnshire that had mysteriously had one of its rotors broken off – was it by a UFO? This week my subject is more serious.
In these times of economic crisis it appears that renewable energy might not only save the planet but also give a much needed boost to the employment market.
The Asociación de Promotores y Productores de Energías Renovables en Andalucía (Aprean) believes that in the next five years some 105,000 jobs could be created in Andalucía over and above the 25,000 that already exist.
This prediction is the result of a study carried out by Aprena and presented last week. The regional government’s delegate in Málaga province, María Gámez, stated that the findings offered data and not just hope of how these numbers could be achieved largely through the wind power sector. Indeed 68 per cent of those jobs would come from wind generation plants planned for Málaga, Cádiz and Almería provinces.
Gámez pointed out that Andalucía was an ideal base for this developing industry largely because of its geographic characteristics and well as its ability to carry out the required investigation and development. All the companies in this sector are under 10 years of age and the average age of the employees is between 30 and 40 years. Also around 82 per cent of the work placings in the renewable energy industry are secure with no danger of lay offs or redundancies in the next 25 years.
For his part the president of Aprean, Mariano Barroso, stated that the energy policy in Spain was beginning to bear fruit thanks to the planning that has been put in place in recent years. He also indicated that the energy sector “is the most hardened” as in the past five years it has not required any type of institutional help – it is “self financing”.
Barroso said the objective was to develop other types of renewable energy such as sun or heat generated alongside wind power. He added that what was currently missing from the mix was the political will to speed through the required bureaucratic procedures to establish the wind parks or other renewable energy sites. However that is a contentious issue as on the Costa de la Luz and wider La Janda various communities are opposing plans for these wind parks.
Currently the renewable energy sector produces between 1,900 and 2,100 megawatts of power. That is an increase of 40 per cent on 2007, 130 per cent more than in 2006 and the objective for 2010 is 3,500 megawatts. With the added promise of large scale employment in these troubled times support for this clean energy industry could receive a timely boost.