UK renewables sector could support 400,000 jobs by 2020

The UK’s £12.5 billion renewables industry, which currently supports around 110,000 jobs, could support 400,000 wind-industryby 2020 and be worth some £50 billion, according to REA and Innovas.

The report, Renewable Energy: Made in Britain, from the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and Innovas is the first to bring together turnover and employment figures for the entire renewables supply chain.

Since 2009/10, the sector has increased by 11% in market value, well outstripping the overall economic growth rate of 1.4% during the same period.

The report says that meeting the UK’s renewable energy targets by 2020 will displace fossil fuels worth £60 billion, most of which are imported into the UK, giving a significant boost to the country’s trade balance.

“Harnessing our renewables creates employment and means that rather than spending money on energy imports we can keep it circulating in the UK economy,” explains REA chief executive Gaynor Hartnell.

But she says that the government must ensure that the UK has the necessary skills base to meet these job opportunities and it must take action now.

Employment figures within the industry should be recorded annually by the Office for National Statistics and a national strategy should be developed, recommends the report.

A minister with a renewable energy remit should also be appointed within the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The report does praise the government for its efforts in offshore wind and marine renewables, but says a framework is needed to link up all the departments involved.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) Office for Renewable Energy Deployment should be relaunched as a cross-departmental office chaired by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

“When it comes to the employment, economic and energy challenges we face the answer is clear – make it renewable and make it in Britain,” says Hartnell.

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has responded to the report commenting:

“The REA’s report sets out plainly the opportunities and challenges in this area. We are determined to seize the momentum and secure maximum benefit for the UK.”

Further Information

Jenrick Engineering is a recruitment partner for many of the leading Engineering Corporations within the UK, providing an array of contract and permanent job opportunities for engineers who operate within this sector.

If you would like to  explore job opportunities in this sector, or wish to seek advice regarding recruiting contractors or permanent staff, please contact our offices at Burton on Trent (on 01283 548 121) or Crick, Northampton (on 01788 824555).

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