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BLOG: Renewables’ remarkable industrial impacts

Nick Sharpe

Director of Communications

Posted on 20/04/2017 by Nick Sharpe

The UK Government’s Industrial Strategy consultation closed this week.

Its purpose?

“To build an industrial strategy that addresses long-term challenges to the UK economy [and] improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country.”

It’s obvious that Scotland’s renewable energy industry has plenty to contribute.

Scottish Renewables wanted to make that point as clearly as possible, so for the first time we’ve provided a snapshot of the people and companies who make our industry vibrant and productive.

Our ambitious industry can play a key role in meeting the aspirations of the Industrial Strategy Green Paper.

As our response to the consultation said:

“Hosting a quarter of Europe’s wind and tidal resource and 10% of the continent’s wave energy – a vast resource that can help reduce the UK’s exposure to volatile global markets – Scotland has a self-evident competitive advantage in the global clean energy market.

“Technological advances and rapid cost reductions are demonstrating that a modern, low-carbon energy system offers increasing potential to improve the competitiveness of our economy while delivering investment and employment across the UK.”

But words, in this instance, only tell half the story.

The scale of the transformation in Scotland’s energy sector – the decline of polluting fossil fuels and the rise of renewables – is huge.

The stats:

  • Scotland’s renewable energy capacity has more than tripled in just eight years.
  • The sector currently employs 21,000 people, from entrepreneurs who’re designing new ways to capture energy from nature, consultants who make projects viable, lawyers who negotiate contracts, a supply chain which builds wind farms, hydro plant and solar farms and an army of highly-skilled engineers and technicians who maintain our green energy infrastructure.
  • In 2015 – the most recent year for which we have figures – renewable energy projects with a total capital cost of £910.6 million were commissioned in Scotland, with much of this investment delivered in more remote areas with lower productivity.
  • And it’s not just on home soil that renewable energy is delivering for Scotland. Research by Scottish Renewables in December 2016 showed Scottish renewable energy businesses have been involved in projects worth £125.3 million in 43 countries in every continent bar Antarctica – and employ staff in 22 of those countries.

In a new document we’ve used case studies and compelling images from more than 30 businesses at the heart of renewables’ success to spell out what we’re already delivering to the Scottish and UK economy.

The pdf which can be downloaded from our website has been provided to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy as part of our response to the consultation.

We’ll be printing the document for All-Energy and copies will be available on stand N18. Please come and say hello and pick one up.

In the meantime please read our response to the Industrial Strategy consultation and get in touch with any questions.

  • Blog by Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy, Scottish Renewables
  • Comments? Use our LinkedIn page

Pic: CS Wind UK