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Figures show onshore wind is Scotland’s biggest employer in renewables


By Alan Hendry

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Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, says the renewable energy industry is now recognised as a vital part of Scotland’s economy.
Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, says the renewable energy industry is now recognised as a vital part of Scotland’s economy.

New figures show that onshore wind is Scotland’s biggest renewable energy employer, amounting to 8780 full-time equivalent posts.

Offshore wind employs 4700 and there are 3290 jobs in hydro power, according to statistics from the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute.

A total of 22,660 jobs are said to be supported by green energy in Scotland.

The renewable energy industry, which is now reported to be providing the equivalent of 97 per cent of Scotland’s electricity consumption, also supports output of £5.2 billion a year.

The figures also show that the renewable energy industry has a big impact on other parts of Scotland’s economy, supporting almost 3000 jobs in construction and 2200 in manufacturing.

Claire Mack, chief executive of industry body Scottish Renewables, said: “The renewable energy industry is now recognised as a vital part of Scotland’s economy and is delivering the equivalent of almost all the country’s electricity consumption.

“These new figures show not just the number of people employed by our members and others, but also the reach of the industry into other parts of the economy.

“Armed with this data we can now begin the process of mapping the industry’s growth as it takes a central place in the recovery from coronavirus and, of course, as we deploy more of the energy generation technology needed to meet our 2045 net-zero carbon emissions target.”

The figures from the University of Strathclyde’s economic research institute show the renewable energy technologies that produce the highest outputs are onshore wind (£2.4 billion), offshore wind (£889 million) and hydro (£915 million). They also indicate that those three technologies alone support output of £772 million every year in other parts of the economy.


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