Renewable energy is the most important sector in North East Scotland, new poll finds  

6/06/24 | News release
Jackup barge offshore wind

People in the North East of Scotland think renewable energy is the most important sector to the region’s economic future, new polling has found.

Polling released today (May 24) asked ‘Which of the following sectors do you think is the most important to the economic future of North East Scotland’ and found that 38% of people think renewable energy (including offshore wind) is most important.

Other options included in the survey were oil and gas (34%), agriculture (11%), fishing (7%) and tourism (5%).

The energy industry has brought significant economic benefits to the North East for decades and this polling shows that people who live in the region now believe that clean energy generation is paramount to its future economy.  

The development of offshore wind projects off Scotland’s east coast means billions of pounds of investment and tens of thousands of jobs. Other renewable energy technologies will also provide opportunities, alongside the clean heat transition and construction of the new pylons and substations needed to transport clean, affordable energy to consumers.

This polling comes in a week when a new report from Robert Gordon University (RGU) found that more than 30,000 offshore jobs in Scotland are reliant on the UK speeding up the transition to a low-carbon energy system.

Emma Harrick, Head of Energy Transition and Supply Chain at Scottish Renewables, said:

“The North East of Scotland has been the energy capital of Europe for decades and the region will continue to play a crucial role as Scotland move towards a low-carbon energy future. This polling clearly demonstrates public support for the renewable energy projects which are bringing thousands of jobs and significant community benefits to the North East.

“Progress has already been made in the move to a low-carbon energy system with home-grown renewable energy projects supporting more than 42,000 jobs and generating over £10.1 billion for Scotland’s economy.

“A wide range of businesses in the North East, including those with a rich history in oil and gas, have already transferred their expertise to help develop and deliver cleaner, greener technologies across Scotland and beyond. But it is a long road ahead for these companies who must conquer challenges such as finding and upskilling employees, securing funding for ambitious facility investments, increasing capabilities and navigating rising costs.

“To scale-up operations these organisations need certainty in the project pipeline. We therefore urge the Scottish Government and whoever forms the next UK Government to work with industry to ensure a stable policy environment which provides investor confidence and tackles key barriers to the delivery of renewable energy projects."


  • The result of the survey question referenced in this media release is available, here
  • The RGU Energy Transition Institute’s report ‘Delivering Our Energy Future: Pathways to a fair and just transition’ is here.
  • More on the Fraser of Allander’s report on the economic impact of renewable energy in Scotland is available here.
  • The Scottish Renewables Supply Chain Impact Statement 23/24 is here.


  • The survey of 1004 people was conducted via online interview by Survation on behalf of Scottish Renewables. Fieldwork was conducted between the 3rd-30th January 2024.
  • The data were weighted to the profile of adults 16+ in the North East Scotland Scottish Parliament Region. Data were weighted by age, sex and council area.
  • Margin of error is 3.4%.
  • Survation is a member of the British Polling Council and company partner of the Market Research Society and adheres to the standards of both organisations.