Scots renewable energy turnover rises to £5.4bn

Scottish Renewables said that new UK Government statistics show turnover from renewable energy activity in Scotland was £5.4 billion in 2016.

Individual sectors are showing employment increases of up to 300%, Scottish Renewables said.

“Scottish onshore wind projects, which support 8,000 jobs, delivered almost half (45.8%) of the UK’s turnover from the technology in 2016, the latest year for which figures are available,” said Scottish Renewables.

“The number of people employed in Scotland’s offshore wind sector increased by 300%, to 2,000.”

The new survey, conducted by the Office for National Statistics, also showed employment in renewable heat increased from less than 500 to 2,500 in the same period.

However, the number of people employed in solar power in Scotland fell by 75%, from 2,000 to 500, following cuts in UK Government support for the industry.

Jenny Hogan, deputy chief executive at Scottish Renewables, said: “These new figures clearly show the benefits renewable energy is bringing to Scotland.

“Companies that are developing projects here, as well as supply chain businesses supporting the wider industry, are employing people in skilled jobs and delivering investment from the Borders to Shetland.

“The rise in employment in the offshore wind and renewable heat sectors illustrates the huge boost to jobs and investment that is possible when technologies are given the right backing by Government.

“For these benefits to continue and grow, the whole industry needs to see that level of political commitment sustained across the board.

“The decline in employment in the solar industry shows clearly the impact of cuts to UK Government support for the sector.

“We would expect that future editions of this ONS survey will show declines in other areas caused by similar decisions made at Westminster.”