Scotland dominates UK wind energy sector with 43,500 jobs and £10.7bn turnover

sse-dunmaglass-wind-farm2-aug-2016Low carbon industries in Scotland generated £10.7 billion in turnover and supported 43,500 jobs in 2014 – according to the latest data from the British government.

In the first ever figures from the Office of National Statistics to include direct and indirect jobs, this accounts for 12.9% of the total UK turnover, and 9.7% of the total employment, in the sector – both higher than Scotland’s share of the population, reinforcing the importance of low carbon industries to the Scottish economy.

The ONS figures on the low carbon and renewable energy economy in the UK for 2014, the latest year that figures are available, also show:

  • For onshore wind, Scotland has 46.2% of all UK employment and 57.2% of all UK turnover
  • Supply chain activity accounted for £5.1 billion, or 47.7%, of total turnover and 21,500, or 49.4% jobs, higher than England (46.2%) and Wales (45.7%). Supply chain activity was marginally higher in Northern Ireland (50.0%)
  • In low carbon electricity generation, Scotland has 18% of all UK employment and 23.6% of all UK turnover in this sector
  • For low carbon heat, Scotland represents 16% of all UK employment and 14.9% of all UK turnover in this sector.

Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Scotland’s low-carbon energy industries – and their supply chains – generated almost £11 billion in 2014 and supported thousands of high-value jobs.

“The Scottish Government strongly supports development of renewable energy and provisional energy statistics show that renewable energy sources accounted for more than 56.7% of gross electricity consumption in Scotland in 2015.

“However, recent UK Government decisions continue to create serious uncertainty across the sector. Delays in announcing which technologies will be supported in the next round of auctions that support the renewable energy sector, for example, are putting at risk existing investments made, and jobs created, in developing renewable energy projects.

“These figures underline both the huge opportunity that decarbonising our energy system presents, as well as the critical importance of continuing to support the sector properly – encouraging investment, generating value, and creating jobs across Scotland.”

The low carbon industries being measured cover those industries operating in the low carbon electricity, low carbon heating, energy from waste & biomass, energy efficiency products, low carbon services and low emission vehicles & infrastructure sectors.

These figures are different to the Low Carbon Economy: Size and Performance” report published by DECC in March 2015 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/low-carbon-economy-size-and-performance). The methodologies are different and the figures are not directly comparable.

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