Renewable energy employment growth slows, finds REA

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 24 July 2017 in News

New figures from 2015/16 show 125,940 people were employed across renewable heat, power, and transport in the UK

Wind turbine - image source: RES

The UK’s renewables industry has expanded to employ 126,000 people, but growth has slowed over the past two years, according to a new report from the Renewable Energy Association (REA).

New figures from 2015/16 show 125,940 people were employed across renewable heat, power, and transport in the UK.

But while 2012/13 and 2013/14 saw a nine per cent growth in employment, the last two years saw expansion slow, with a 2.5 per cent increase in jobs.


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Figures from REView 2017 survey of the industry show renewables had a turnover of £17.4bn in 2015/16, a growth of 3.5 per cent on the previous year, but that the number of companies operating in renewable energy fell by five per cent.

Meanwhile the REA warned that the slowdown in employment and growth was caused by policies introduced by the UK Government since the 2015 general election, with some of the damage caused by energy policy changes yet to be felt.

Dr Nina Skorupska, chief executive of the REA, said: “It shows real progress that there were nearly 126,000 jobs in renewable energy in 2015/16. This is in addition to over 16,000 in energy storage and in electric vehicles, which is the first year we have reported on these sectors.

“What is deeply frustrating is that this growth could have been greater. Policy instability in Westminster has slowed growth. Our member companies are helping build a system that is reliable, low-carbon and more affordable than the previous one.

“There’s fierce competition to be at the fore of these new technologies internationally. Government action is needed to ensure the opportunity to be leaders in technologies such as energy storage and decentralised systems does not slip between our fingers.”

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