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Can Offshore Wind Energy Be a Lever for Job Creation in France? Some Insights from a Local Case Study
- Kahouli, Sondès, Martin, JeanChristophe
- Environmental modeling and assessment 2018 v.23 no.3 pp. 203-227
- case studies, economic impact, employment, industry, issues and policy, models, supply chain, wind farms, wind power, France
- The French government has launched three separate calls for tender in July 2011, March 2013, and December 2016 to install 3.5 GW of offshore wind. In addition to contributing to the fulfillment of environmental commitments, the deployment of offshore wind energy is expected to be a lever for economic development. To assess gross economic impacts, mainly in terms of job creation, we built a regional input-output model of the wind farm off Saint-Brieuc located in the region of Brittany, north-western France. Our model indicates that the project will have positive effects on Brittany’s economy. In particular, during the investment phase, the wind farm is expected to lead to €0.38 M/year/MW of added value and 6.03 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs/year/MW. During the operation and maintenance (O&M) phase, the model predicts the generation of €0.15 M/year/MW of added value and 1.02 FTE jobs/year/MW. These results imply that the project will increase Brittany’s GDP slightly by 0.22 and 0.09% during the investment and O&M phases, respectively. Results also show that out of total wealth created in France, 38 and 66% will be created in Brittany as well as 32 and 51% of employment during respectively investment and O&M phases. A comparative analysis highlights in particular that economic impacts are generally stronger during the investment phase. It also demonstrates that the magnitude of economic impacts depends on the proportion of local industries in the supply chain. Policy implications of our model stress the need to revise the economic, technological, regulatory, and social frameworks within which the offshore wind industry currently operates in France to establish the conditions necessary for its development.