Plea for 'more robust data' as research shows Scotland’s renewables industry supports 27,000 jobs

More than 27,000 jobs are supported by Scotland’s renewable energy industry and its supply chain, according to new research.

The sector also generated £5.6 billion of output in 2020, the figures from the Fraser of Allander Institute show.

However, researchers noted that the renewable energy sector is not currently defined in national statistics published by either the UK or Scottish governments, so the size of the sector has been estimated using data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

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Claire Mack, chief executive at industry body Scottish Renewables, said: “The renewable energy sector in Scotland continues to go from strength to strength and this report from the Fraser of Allander Institute gives us an encouraging sign of how much the Scottish economy is benefiting from the work our members are doing as we transition to a fossil fuel free future.

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“We urgently need much more robust data collection to understand how the renewable energy industry is performing and evolving across the UK.

“Scottish Renewables urges the UK and Scottish governments to develop stronger data on the renewable energy sector. This will support transparency and accountability for government and industry economic and environmental targets.”

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James Black, fellow at the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde, added: “While the industry clearly plays a critical role in progress towards net-zero targets, it also provides many economic opportunities for Scotland. These opportunities include the potential for technological development, new export markets and prosperity for rural parts of Scotland that may otherwise be economically left behind.”

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Scotland has seen growing investment in onshore and offshore wind and other green energy technologies such as tidal and wave power. Picture: Aerial Vision

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