A new report has for the first time quantified the UK’s renewable energy sector, underlining its importance as a job creator and revenue generator.
The report from The Renewable Energy Association (REA) and Innovas, a major player in the low carbon economy field, shows the UK’s £12.5 billion-worth renewable energy industry supports 110,000 jobs across supply chains, and is likely to support 400,000 energy jobs by 2020.
REA chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said, “Harnessing our renewables creates employment and means that rather than spending money on energy imports we can keep it circulating in the UK economy.”
Hartnell urged the government to initiate necessary measures for developing the UK’s skills base and to keep the country tuned to achieve its renewable energy goals as this would go a long way in ensuring employment and sustaining economic growth.
The unveiling of the report, entitled, ‘Renewable Energy: Made in Britain’, coincides with the opening today of the Clean Energy Ministerial Summit.
The sector’s overall rise in market value was 11% year-on-year in 2010-11, far outpacing economic growth of 1.4% for the same 12-month period.
It report points out that if the UK meets its renewable energy targets, the use of fossil fuels would be reduced by an average of £60 billion by 2020, giving a much-needed boost to the UK’s balance of trade.
Minister of State for Climate Change Gregory Barker said the industry has the potential of generating substantial investments as well as innumerable jobs, and lauded the REA for launching the report that clearly outlines the opportunities and challenges in the field.
Barker added, “Renewable energy provides us with clean and secure energy that cuts our reliance on imported fossil fuels.”