Opinions vary on employment prospects in Danish wind industry  

Rosy figures for Danish wind industry exports in 2009 give hope for better employment prospects in 2010, but some analysts are cautious in their outlook

Despite 2009 being the worst year for business in decades, Danish exports of wind turbines managed to hit the same level as in 2008. This surprising fact is revealed in newly published figures from the Danish Wind Industry Association, which covers the bulk of the country's wind energy sector. The news is reported by financial daily newspaper Børsen.


Exports in 2009 reached DKK 41.7bn (USD 7.61bn), just a tad shy of the DKK 42bn (USD 7.66bn) export total reached in 2008. The wind industry association thus has positive expectations for 2010, and hopes that many of the 4,000 wind industry workers who lost their jobs in 2009 will be re-employed.


Jan Hylleberg, director of the Danish Wind Industry Association, told Børsen: "We expect that up to 2,000 people will be employed in the wind industry this year, and that is more than we forecast just a couple of months ago."


But not everyone fully concurs with Hylleberg's prognostications. Daniel Patterson, an analyst at SEB Enskilda, points out that many of the job losses resulted from factory closures and the relocation of production to lower wage countries, and adds that the Danish wind turbine giant Vestas has stated that it will not be building new factories in Denmark.


Patterson thinks that Danish wind industry exports will fall in 2010, a sentiment echoed by analyst Jacob Pedersen at Sydbank, who opines to Børsen that the 2009 export figures reflect the fact that many projects begun in 2007 and 2008 were too far advanced to put on hold. If employment does manage to reach the level that Jan Hylleberg expects in 2010, it will come from the offshore wind industry and the development sector of the wind industry, says Pedersen.

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