This shortfall could climb to 18,000 by 2030 - representing nearly 5% of the entire wind industry workforce - if numbers of suitable workers do not increase, EWEA says, citing a report by the European Union's Wind Energy Technology Platform (TPWind) that was based on research conducted by renewable energy consultancy GL Garrad Hassan.
"At a time of rising unemployment, it makes no sense that the wind industry cannot find the skilled personnel it urgently needs," remarks Jacopo Moccia, head of policy analysis at EWEA.
"There is a real risk of a shortage of suitably skilled workers,” adds Andrew Garrad, chairman of GL Garrad Hassan. “Well over half of the shortfall in new workers in 2030 could be in operations and maintenance. Engineers are in desperately short supply, and the problem will get far worse unless action is taken."
In order to help prevent the shortage, there will need to be more wind energy training opportunities, says Henning Kruse, chairman of TPWind.
"Targeted training courses must be created and graduate numbers from those courses increased so that the sector can meet its staff needs and continue to provide jobs and revenue in today's tough economic climate," he notes.
The full report will be published later this year.