A major new jobs study from Scottish Renewables to be released later today states over 11,000 people are employed in the country’s domestic renewable energy sector.
The industry group says the report, "Delivering the Ambition: employment in renewable energy in Scotland," is the first comprehensive study of the impact growing investment in renewable infrastructure such as wind, solar power, hydro and tidal energy has had on equivalent posts in Scotland to date.
According to Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, "The report shows that renewables are not only a major part of our energy mix, they are now a major part of our economy and our daily working day lives, supporting more than 11,000 jobs across Scotland."
The study examined jobs growth from throughout the sector, with the results showing 1,526 employees in renewable energy development and a further 8,701 employed in the direct supply chain. 909 jobs are involved in academia and the wider public sector.
Scotland has previously committed to cutting its carbon emissions by 42 percent by 2020 and to an ambitious goal of expanding renewable electricity capacity to the equivalent of at least 80 per cent of demand by the end of the decade. Even by 2009, renewable energy contributed over 27 percent of Scotland’s electricity consumption.
There are currently 20 gigawatts of renewable energy projects under way in the country with offshore wind power featuring heavily, which Mr Stuart says is proof the industry is vital to Scotland’s economy by providing a buffer against the global downturn.
"Renewable energy development is bringing in much-needed investment to the wider economy, which is providing opportunities for businesses and people from a wide range of sectors; whether it be electricians, tradesmen, and skippers of work boats, or lawyers, consultants, civil engineers and architects."
Mr Stuart added the report didn’t capture the flow-on effect of renewable energy employment.
"These numbers are actually just the tip of the iceberg, with many thousands more employees supported indirectly by the growth of the renewables sector which have not been captured by this study."