Diversification in Energy Sources: Growing Role of Wind Energy

Our Low Carbon & Renewables Consultant Natascha Marais shares her views on the transformative potential of offshore wind energy.

man looking at wind turbines

May 28, 2024


As someone who comes from South Africa, a place with an abundance of wind, it has always been a technology that fascinated me. My experiences with the wind industry over the last few years have taught me that in the world’s pursuit of a sustainable future, the diversifying energy sources is crucial, with wind energy emerging as a key player in this drive.  

Within WeConnect Energy, my role focuses on the Renewables sector and having spent the majority of my working life immersing myself in the wide world of the energy market, I decided to write about some of the wind elements that stood out to me. In this blog, I’ll provide you with a brief update of what has been trending in wind energy and the employment opportunities and growth potential I see in the near future. I hope you enjoy and please do connect with me if you require any support with your renewable energy recruitment needs.  

Wind Energy at a Glance  

At a basic level, wind energy is a straightforward yet powerful concept: it uses air as a natural resource to generate electricity with wind turbines. Recognised for its efficiency and sustainability, wind power plays a key role in reducing global carbon emissions, as highlighted by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). New innovative turbine and foundations technologies minimise environmental impact, making wind energy a significant contributor to the positive shift towards cleaner energy sources across the globe. WindEurope emphasises the vital role of wind energy in reducing the continent's dependence on fossil fuels.  

However, innovations in energy storage and grid management are crucial for integrating wind energy more seamlessly into the power system, ensuring a more stable supply even when wind conditions change. Deloitte’s research highlights the transformative impact of digital and technological innovations in the renewable sector, particularly in improving grid integration and operational efficiency of wind energy projects.  

A further review of Deloitte’s report also highlights important points on why technological and design engineering skillsets are an essential part of improving workforce efficiency on project sites and maximising wind turbine capacity. Arguably, the projects with the most innovative and ever-developing technology expertise have a real chance of getting ahead of competitors. From a hiring perspective, our recruitment services and strong networks help to ensure your projects benefit from such expertise. WeConnect Energy specialises in connecting your company with seasoned professionals in the wind energy sector, and top candidates to their perfect roles, both essential elements for driving project success.  

Employment and Economic Growth  

In light of the significant developments in the renewable energy sector over the past year, I’ve highlighted some important news I thought worth sharing. With so many developing and active projects in the UK and Europe e.g. Neart na Gaoithe and Horsea 2, the demand for skilled individuals continues to grow. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) highlights the increasing employment opportunities within the renewable sector, with a considerable portion attributed to wind energy.  

The European Commission's insights also suggest a promising trajectory for wind power, with technological advancements enhancing efficiency. This makes wind energy more accessible and reliable, although it's not without its challenges, particularly when it comes to one of the most important issue - costs.  In 2023, 79% of the new wind capacity constructed in Europe was onshore. The amount of new offshore installations is constantly increasing, with a record 3.8 GW added in Europe last year. However, two-thirds of the new wind installations projected up to 2030 will still be onshore.

In the USA, wind energy investments saw a 35% decrease over the past year, encountering substantial hurdles due to rising costs and permit acquisition difficulties. A Deloitte survey underscored these factors as the main barriers to the expansion of renewable energy, with rising expenses notably affecting the sector on a global scale. The continued increase in costs has led to countries and corporations withdrawing from offshore wind projects. The same report revealed that renegotiations of four contracts and cancellations of three projects have jeopardised half of the USA's offshore wind project pipeline.  

Similarly, in 2023, the UK failed to attract any offshore wind bids from developers, a concerning development for a nation aiming to triple its offshore capacity by 2030. Likewise, another area of concern is auction design. There’s a common theme throughout the collateral and articles I have read, and it’s clear that governments need to implement cost indexation and steer clear of allowing unlimited negative bids.  

Here in the UAE, the challenge of low wind levels hasn't hindered the advancement of wind power capabilities. A landmark utility-scale wind project, launched by Masdar, features a 103.5-MW capacity spread across four locations. Interestingly, wind power in the UAE is strongest at night. This unusual characteristic is used to its full advantage, and luckily helps to complement the nation's solar power generation – resulting in round-the-clock energy production.  

Despite the two examples I mentioned about failure to attract investment, it’s not all doom and gloom; the outlook for the wind industry is far from bleak. According to Wind Europe's Competitiveness Report 2023, the wind sector supported approximately 300,000 jobs in the EU in 2022. This figure is projected to increase to 936,000 by 2030, indicating robust growth and opportunities within the industry despite the challenges faced. Similarly, the US market is also experiencing a surge in demand for renewable energy jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the role of wind turbine service technician is tied for the fastest-growing occupation from 2022 to 2032, highlighting the increasing importance of wind energy in the job market.  

Additionally, the wind technician workforce is expected to experience significant growth, with offshore employment increasing by 79% from 2022 to 2027, outpacing the onshore growth rate, which is projected to be 12% during the same period. By 2027, the majority of technicians, accounting for 87% of the workforce, will be working onshore, mainly in operations and management and this trend is only expected to continue to rise. This is clearly a field that has huge potential for job seekers and industry alike, and our mission is to connect exceptional talent with top-tier green energy companies.  


I hope you found this piece interesting, I plan on publishing several blogs throughout the year, covering various aspects of the renewables sector and more about life as a recruiter. For something on the lighter side, stay tuned for the upcoming ‘Meet Natascha’ blog to be released shortly! For more information on how WeConnect Energy can help you with your wind recruitment needs, check out our sector page.  

In my spare time when I am not feverishly blogging for the Marketing team, I will also be attending more events over the course of the year. With a packed Q3 and Q4, I am especially eager to attend the Onshore Wind Conference, 3rd – 4th September, WindEnergy Hamburg – September 24th to 27th, the KSA Solar and Storage show, on October 15th – 16th. If you are also attending any of these events, please do reach out and I will happily arrange an introduction.  

Just before I sign off, WeConnect Energy's inaugural Low Carbon & Renewables Salary Survey will be launching soon, and I'd invite everyone reading this and who is in the industry to please get involved. You'll gain valuable insights into industry trends and be in with a chance of winning £500. Keep an eye on WeConnect Energy's LinkedIn for updates on the launch.

Our company mission is simple: we are here to match our clients to the talent and skills they require to unlock organisational growth. If you're looking for support with your Low Carbon & Renewables initiatives, I'm here to help. Feel free to reach out via n.marais@weconnectenergy.com or connect with me on LinkedIn.

No items found.