Green jobs could increase by 85% in 10 years with government support, according to the Renewable Energy Association (REA). Employment in the renewables and clean technology sector stood at 128,954 in 2017/18, but there is potential to boost the number to 238,000 by 2030.
The REA predicts that 46,000 of the new jobs that could be created with greater support from the UK Government are expected to be in the north of England, which is currently home to several carbon-intensive job clusters.
The forecast follows a ‘disappointing’ year for job growth in the sector, which saw an increase of just 1.5% from 2017 figures, amid a series of subsidy cuts in the Solar PV industry. Despite some policy advances taking place the following year, including legislation surrounding net zero and the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, there are several policy barriers in place preventing the renewables industry from unleashing its full potential.
Based on these figures and projections, the REA is calling on the government to set out a range of policy proposals as part of a ‘comprehensive decarbonisation strategy’ by COP26, which is due to take place in Glasgow in November 2020. Additionally, the REA is calling on the government to adopt some ‘higher-level actions’ by implementing a more effective taxation system promoting renewable energy and clean technologies, as well as protecting natural capital, and providing a route to market for renewable transport, power and heat technologies.
“This report highlights the enormous opportunities the renewables and clean technology industry holds for the UK,” said Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, chief executive of the REA. “One of the advantages of our industry is that it covers the lengths and breadths of the country, as such, its benefit can be felt throughout the UK.
“With the government’s commitment to achieving net zero by 2050, we can see that there is political will, however, this needs to be backed up by policy for the renewable energy and clean technology sector. This report provides the government with that insight, and we are calling on them to deliver this urgently ahead of COP26.”