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Offshore wind capability study reveals new job and supply chain opportunities

Taranaki Offshore Partnership (TOP), New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and Ara Ake are pleased to release their Industry Capability Mapping Study, which indicates the potential for offshore wind to create many new jobs in the Taranaki region, smoothing the transition away from emissions-intensive industries.

The study, commissioned by TOP and NZTE with the support of Ara Ake, gathered information from more than 100 organisations including the local community, infrastructure experts, industry, iwi, and local government, through workshops, surveys and interviews over a year, as well as analysing case studies from around the world.

Leveraging information from international projects, the study and jobs guide identify the sorts of jobs which are created by the planning, building and operational phases of a wind farm, and with the input of the local community, highlight what skills and capabilities already exist in Taranaki and where more can be done. For example, outlining the types of training that could be beneficial to the workforce, or where initiatives can be introduced to support local businesses to be a part of the supply chain.

Giacomo Caleffi from Taranaki Offshore Partnership says that as one of the fastest-growing renewable energy technologies globally, offshore wind provides New Zealand with an opportunity to transition from oil and gas, while creating new opportunities for the skilled workers previously working in that industry.

“New Zealand requires a significant increase in renewable energy generation to meet our emissions reduction targets, and to enable the decarbonisation of the economy into the future.

“Offshore wind has a key role to play in New Zealand’s future energy mix. It provides renewable energy at scale and complements many other forms of renewable energy generation. To unlock these benefits, it’s key that we support and develop the New Zealand workforce and supply chain now to enable the development of an offshore wind farm once the feasibility stages of the project are complete,” says Mr Caleffi.

NZTE Investment Manager Hayden Mackenzie says that leveraging the international experience of offshore wind developers such as Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, has enabled them to accelerate their understanding of what the industry could look like in New Zealand.

“TOP’s combined experience of developing successful offshore wind farms overseas, and the New Zealand infrastructure landscape, is vital for beginning to plan how the wider sector can support this new emergent industry, in both workforce and supply chain planning. Coupled with the insights gathered throughout the study, it’s clear that offshore wind presents a unique opportunity for Taranaki, and provides more renewable energy for growing domestic and export demand,” says Mr Mackenzie.

Ara Ake Chief Executive, Cristiano Marantes says that the study paints a positive picture of the offshore wind opportunity for the region.

“Ara Ake has a mandate to accelerate the demonstration, commercialisation, and deployment of low emissions energy solutions, and collaborating with energy innovators, like Taranaki Offshore Partnership in this study, is crucial to fostering a new energy ecosystem in New Zealand,” says Dr Marantes.

TOP is currently hosting regular meetings at its information Hub in Hāwera to establish meaningful relationships with the Taranaki community, and to hear feedback from the general public. The next session, taking place on 30 October 2023, will focus on the job opportunities associated with offshore wind, as highlighted by this study.

“The study has provided us with great insights into how we can work with the community and industry to prepare the workforce and supply chain. We’re excited to continue these conversations, and maintain momentum in developing an offshore wind industry in New Zealand,” says Mr Caleffi.

Read the Industry Capability Mapping Study and Jobs Guide.


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