More than half of UK turnover from onshore wind generated in Scotland

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 6 April 2017 in News

UK Low Carbon and Renewable Energy (LCRE) Economy Survey suggests 58,500 people employed in Scotland in low-carbon activities in 2015

Wind turbines - credit: Fotolia

More than half of the UK’s turnover from onshore wind activities, totalling £1.5bn, was generated in Scotland in 2015, according to a new survey of the industry.

The UK Low Carbon and Renewable Energy (LCRE) Economy Survey found that with 58,500 people employed in Scotland in low-carbon activities in 2015, and around 234,000 people across the UK, employment in the industry accounts for one per cent of total UK non-financial employees.

The report shows 52.9 per cent of the UK’s turnover from onshore wind activities was generated in Scotland.


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LCRE activities generated £43.1bn in turnover in 2015, making up 1.3 per cent of all UK non-financial turnover.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “It's fantastic to see the number of renewable and low-carbon jobs continuing to rise in Scotland. This growth in green jobs has mainly been driven by stretching government targets followed up by enabling policies and other support. If Scotland is to secure all the benefits that a zero-carbon society would bring, it's vital Scottish ministers continue to put in place the policies and support mechanisms needed as well as giving businesses the signals they need to commit to investment and skills training.

“These figures also underline the importance of onshore wind to Scotland, both in terms of our economy and in creating jobs. It's therefore disappointing that the UK Government has ended its support for onshore wind, especially if that results in these jobs figures going down in future. Undermining onshore wind in Scotland will make it far more expensive for the entire UK to meet its climate change obligations.”

Lindsay Roberts, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said: "These new figures once again clearly show the important economic impact of Scotland’s renewable energy sector.

"Technologies like wind, hydro, renewable heat and solar are delivering significant levels of employment and investment across the country and it's crucial that renewed ambitions for the sector, set out in Scotland’s draft Energy Strategy, are complemented by the right support from government, both at Westminster and in Edinburgh."

The energy efficient products sector generated the highest employment within the LCRE economy, with over 100,000 full time equivalent roles making up around half of all employees within the LCRE economy.

The solar, offshore and onshore wind sectors combined accounted for 63.5 per cent of all LCRE acquisitions in 2015.

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