Number of UK renewable energy jobs grows 2.5% in 2015/16, REA says
Rooftop solar system. Author: Centre for Alternative Technology. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic
Employment in the UK renewable energy industry rose by 2.5% on the year in 2015/16, reaching 125,940 jobs, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) said on Monday.
The increase of jobs in the renewable heat, power and transport sectors, however, marked a “significant decline” as compared to the almost 9% growth from two years ago, according to REA’s REView 2017 report. The employment report, compiled with data from independent consultancy Innovas and investment data and analysis by KPMG, also showed there were an additional 16,000 jobs in the electric vehicles and energy storage segments.
According to industry lobby, employment growth has suffered from negative effects resulting from more than 15 policy changes adopted by the government since the general elections in 2015. Among those are the reduction of feed-in tariffs (FiTs), closure of the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme for onshore wind and solar projects, as well as the reform of the renewable heat incentive. REA noted that consequences from the 15 particular policy changes are not fully reflected in the 2015/16 data and are seen to further impact jobs, turnover and company number data in 2016/17.
Industry turnover in 2015/16 was GBP 17.4 billion (GBP 22.7bn/EUR 19.5bn), resulting in a 3.5% year-on-year increase, while the number of companies doing business in the renewable energy field has slipped by 5%, mostly due to the significant contraction in the solar photovoltaic (PV) market.
“What is deeply frustrating is that this growth could have been greater. Policy instability in Westminster has slowed growth. Our member companies are helping build a system that is reliable, low-carbon and more affordable than the previous one,” said REA’s CEO Nina Skorupska.
Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.