Renewables investment on track to top £1bn for first time

Niall Stuart: 'Investment is supporting thousands of jobs'
Niall Stuart: 'Investment is supporting thousands of jobs'
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INVESTMENT in Scotland’s renewable energy sector is on track to top £1 billion this year for the first time in the history of the industry, according to figures published today.

Trade body Scottish Renewables analysed data from the UK government’s Department of Energy & Climate Change and found that £900 million had already been spent during the opening six months of the year.

Speaking at last night’s Scottish Green Energy Awards, which attracted some 1,000 guests, Niall Stuart – chief executive of Scottish Renewables – said: “More than £800m of this came from onshore wind, showing the importance of the sector during a challenging time for Scotland’s economy.

“That investment is supporting thousands of jobs.”

Stuart added: “We attracted around £750m of investment in the entire year of 2011 and more than £900m in just six months of 2012. If we continue at this rate there’s a good chance we could see in excess of £1.5bn of capital projects.”

His comments came after a report published yesterday by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) found investment in renewables accounted for £1 in every £8 spent on infrasturcture in Scotland in the past year.

CECA Scotland chairman Roger Philpott said: “We are not surprised the renewables sector is providing more than 15 per cent of Scotland’s annual £2bn civil engineering outturn and is right up there with Scottish Water and Transport Scotland as a main provider of infrastructure work.

“The Scottish Government’s determination to increase renewable power generation and upgrade the distribution network has undoubtedly protected businesses and more than 2,000 skilled jobs.”