Renewable energy supports over 100,000 jobs finds REA

A new report published by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) has found that the UK renewable energy industry now supports over 100,000 jobs, attracting almost £30 billion of private sector investment since 2010
Renewable energy supports over 100,000 jobs finds REA

The sector is now delivering 4.2 percent of the UK’s total energy demand, according to the report REview – Renewable Energy View: 2014. The report features analysis on the growth of renewables in the energy mix, information concerning jobs and turnover in the sector supplied by Innovas and levels of investment in renewable energy projects, supplied by PwC.

The report builds on the REA’s 2012 report Renewable Energy: Made in Britain which was the first industry-wide analysis of employment in the UK renewable energy industry.

“This report highlights the close relationship between clear, stable policies and sustained growth and jobs in the renewable energy industry” said REA Chief Executive Dr Nina Skorupska. “The Government’s renewable electricity policies have incentivised nearly £28 billion of private investment since 2010, achieving annual growth rates of over 20 percent. The world’s first Renewable Heat Incentive is also beginning to spur positive growth in green heating. This is a tremendous success story.”

However, the positive message also comes with a warning, Dr Skorupska added. The drastic Feed-in Tariff cuts of 2011 to 2012 has led to widespread job losses in the solar power industry and the continued policy uncertainty for renewable transport has seen employment and investment opportunities in UK refineries suffering.

“Clear, stable policies create the investment, jobs and growth in renewables that the UK needs” Dr Skorupska continued.  “We urge the Government to learn the lessons from past experiences, such as solar FITs and biofuels uncertainty, and engage closely with industry to resolve outstanding uncertainties, such as State Aid rules and the details of CfDs.”

The report has found that renewable electricity generation in the UK has grown steadily, increasing on average by 20.3% year-on-year between 2009 and 2013. This means that if the policy framework remains supportive the government’s ambition for 30 percent renewable electricity in 2020 can be achieved, with major contributions from wind, biomass, energy from waste and solar power.

Renewable heat generation has also grown steadily, increasing on average by 11.3 percent year-on-year between 2009 and 2012. Growth will need to accelerate to an average 18 percent year-on-year between 2013 and 2020 if the government wishes to reach its 12 percent renewable heat by 2020 target. Contributions to this will come mainly from biomass and heat pumps.

Biofuel consumption has increased on average by 3.8 percent year-on-year between 2009 and 2013, however this growth has been erratic, with consumption decreasing in some years. The policy framework needs to be improved or the government will miss its legally binding 2020 target of 10 percent renewable transport.

Innovas has found that 103,000 people were employed across the UK renewable energy value chain in 2012/13. The REA has found however that there were 7,000 fewer jobs in renewables overall in 2012/13 than in 2010/11. This is mainly due to job losses in the small scale solar power sector (down by approximately 10,000) but partially offset by job creation in the wind industry (up by approximately 4,000). Turnover in the industry stood at £14 billion in 2012/13, up £1.5 billion from 2010/11.

PwC has found that £29.8 billion was invested in UK renewables between 2010 and 2013, of which £27.7 billion was invested in renewable electricity, £1.4 billion in renewable heat and £0.7 billion in renewable transport fuel. £64.4 billion is expected to be invested in renewables by 2020 in order to achieve Government projections for renewable electricity and heat.

For additional information:

Renewable Energy Association (REA)



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