The UK Renewable Energy Association’s report REView 2016 – the authoritative annual statistical publication of the renewable energy industry – shows that there were nearly 117,000 employees in the renewable energy industry in 2014-15.
The industry grew 6.6% in 2014-15, up from 6.1% the previous year, which is over twice the rate of the UK economy overall.
In contrast, the oil and gas sector has lost more than 100,000 jobs in the last two years since crude oil prices plummeted from $110-barrel.
Dr. Nina Skorupska CBE, Chief Executive, Renewable Energy Association, said: “The UN Paris agreement signifies a sea change in investment towards renewables and clean technologies in the coming decades. The UK is facing an extraordinary opportunity to be a core player in renewable and clean tech research, finance, and deployment.
“We fully agree with Labour’s forecast for the potential of 300,000 jobs, at least. The industry already employs over 115,000 people and has been growing at a rate twice as fast as the economy overall.
“The benefits of the transition are broader than solely employment numbers as well. The decentralised nature of renewables means that a variety of skilled work will be required across the length and breadth of the UK. Decentralised energy also offers a new source of savings or revenue, over a million people in the UK are already doing so through solar PV, energy storage, EV’s and other tech.”
Meanwhile, new data released by the European Renewable Energies Federation forecasts that there could be up to 24 million “energy citizens” in the UK by 2050.
The report details that in 2015 in the UK there were over one million individuals classed as “energy citizens” who actively participate in the energy market (by directly making savings or introducing new revenue), either by the use of solar PV, wind, electric vehicles, e-boilers, or stationary energy storage.