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The wind energy industry increased its contribution to the EU's gross domestic product (GDP) by 33% between 2007 and 2010. In 2010, the industry's growth was twice that of the EU's GDP overall, with the sector contributing 32 billion Euros to an EU economy in slowdown.

Key figures from 'Green Growth' report released today by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) include:

  • The wind energy sector contributed 32 billion Euros to EU GDP in 2010
  • The sector's contribution to GDP grew by 33% from 2007 to 2010
  • The sector created 30% more jobs from 2007 to 2010 to reach nearly 240,000, while EU unemployment rose by 9.6% . By 2020, there should be 520,000 jobs in the sector.
  • The sector was a net exporter of 5.7 billion Euros worth of goods and services in 2010
  • The sector avoided 5.71 billion Euros of fuel costs in 2010
  • The sector invested 5% of its spending in R&D - three times more than the EU average. Wind turbine manufacturers commit around 10% of their total turnover to R&D.
By 2020 its contribution to GDP will have increased almost three-fold and the number of jobs will go up by over 200% to reach 520,000 by then, says the report. By 2030 the number of jobs could go up to 795,000.