UK GOVERNMENT figures show confident strides taken by the Scottish renewable energy sector mean green power could provide more of the country’s electricity than any other source within the next few years.
This year is already looking promising. Department of Energy and Climate Change statistics show renewable energy is on track to become Scotland’s main source of power, and is already generating the equivalent of 40 per cent of our electricity needs. That’s more than coal, more than gas – and is the strongest signal yet that we’re well on our way to meeting the ambitious target of generating 100 per cent by 2020.
Not only are we producing low-carbon energy for households and businesses and helping meet European targets of reducing emissions and tackling climate change, but renewable energy is delivering opportunities for people who want to work in the sector.
In what is the most comprehensive study to date, Scottish Renewables has published findings which suggest there are now 11,695 people working in renewable energy in Scotland. This is a 5 per cent growth on the previous year’s figures, and the surest sign yet that we are creating opportunities in the labour market. Major reforms in the electricity markets – leading to uncertainty in the industry – make this rise even more laudable. The 5 per cent growth in renewables jobs is higher than the growth in Scotland’s overall employment rate.
The most mature of the renewable energy sectors, onshore wind, was the greatest source of employment (39 per cent), with offshore wind (21 per cent), bioenergy (9 per cent) and marine (9 per cent) all contributing.