Low carbon industries ‘are worth £10.7bn’

The Scottish Government said latest figures from the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that low carbon industries in Scotland generated £10.7 billion in turnover and supported 43,500 jobs in 2014.

These are the first ever ONS figures to include direct and indirect jobs.

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

The Scottish Government said the ONS figures 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%)
• In low carbon electricity generation, Scotland has 18% of all UK employment and 23.6% of all UK turnover
• For low carbon heat, Scotland represents 16% of all UK employment and 14.9% of all UK turnover

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: “This is great news. These industries – and their supply chains – generated almost £11 billion in 2014 and supported thousands of high-value jobs.

“The figures reinforce the growing importance of the low carbon industries to the Scottish economy and vindicate the Scottish Government’s support for the sector and the increasingly crucial role it plays within Scotland’s energy mix and the wider economy.

“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.

“In welcoming these figures, however, we must remember recent UK Government decisions that 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.”