Number of Scots working in renewable energy on the rise

The number of workers in Scotland employed in the low carbon and renewables sector has risen to 58,500 in 2015 - up from 43,500 in 2014.

The numbers employed in the renewables sector in Scotland is on the rise. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

The low carbon and renewables sector generated a turnover of £10.5 billion, 14% of the total UK sector, the Office of National Statistics numbers show.

The report reveals Scotland represented 48% of all UK employment, and 53% of all UK turnover, in onshore wind, 33% of all UK employment, and 28% of turnover, in low carbon electricity generation, is in Scotland.

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For low carbon services, Scotland represents 24 per cent of all UK employment, and 26 per cent of turnover.

While welcoming the growth, the Scottish Government warned such advances could be reversed if the UK Government opts to lessen financial incentives for renewable energies.

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“These figures how large the sector was in 2015 and, with 58,500 employees and a turnover of £10.5 billion, the huge opportunity that green energy presents in generating the kind of sustainable growth from which all Scotland benefits,” said minister for business, Paul Wheelhouse.

“It is also telling that these statistics show a sector in rude health, and playing a growing role in our economy, just as the UK Government removed a number of key support mechanisms that have encouraged substantial growth.

“Today, the sector remains beset by the uncertainty brought about by short-sighted and harmful decisions by UK Ministers and indecision around support in areas such as marine energy, islands wind projects, pumped hydro storage and islands grid connections, which risks investors moving outside the UK.

“While I celebrate the success these figures indicate for Scotland, I am under no illusions whatsoever as to what the wider effect of damaging UK Government decisions, and indecision, may be having on the sector in Scotland and the UK over the longer term and these figures demonstrate the scale of progress that continued, sub-optimal UK policies will put at risk.”

The UK Government has been approached for comment.