Scots renewable energy industry turnover £5.5 billion, new UK Government stats show

31/01/18 | News release

New UK Government statistics released today (Jan 31) show turnover from renewable energy activity in Scotland was £5,458 million in 2016 – with individual sectors showing employment increases of up to 300%.

Scottish onshore wind projects, which support 8,000 jobs, delivered almost half (45.8%) of the UK’s turnover from the technology in 2016, the latest year for which figures are available.

The number of people employed in Scotland’s offshore wind sector increased by 300%, to 2,000.

The new survey, conducted by the Office for National Statistics, also showed employment in renewable heat increased from fewer than 500 to 2,500 in the same period.

The number of people employed in solar power in Scotland fell by 75%, from 2,000 to 500, however, following cuts to UK Government support.

Jenny Hogan, Deputy Chief Executive at Scottish Renewables,


“These new figures clearly show the benefits renewable energy is bringing to Scotland.

“Companies that are developing projects here, as well as supply chain businesses supporting the wider industry, are employing people in skilled jobs and delivering investment from the Borders to Shetland.

"The rise in employment in the offshore wind and renewable heat sectors illustrates the huge boost to jobs and investment that is possible when technologies are given the right backing by Government. For these benefits to continue and grow, the whole industry needs to see that level of political commitment sustained across the board.

“The decline in employment in the solar industry shows clearly the impact of cuts to UK Government support for the sector. We would expect that future editions of this ONS survey will show declines in other areas caused by similar decisions made at Westminster.”


Comparisons between Scotland’s turnover from renewable energy in 2015 and 2016 cannot be made as a figure for offshore wind in 2015 was omitted by the Office for National Statistics.

Comparisons between employment in Scotland from renewable energy in 2015 and 2016 cannot be made as the figure for hydropower has also been omitted.
In 2016, almost half (45.8%) of the UK’s turnover from onshore wind activities was generated in Scotland (£1.5 billion).

For an explanation of direct and indirect activity, please see the ONS website.