Scottish Renewables energy research shows green COVID-19 recovery jobs and investment boost
New figures released today by Scottish Renewables show the economic boost available if the government uses renewable energy to pursue a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Every gigawatt of renewable power installed in Scotland creates 1,500 jobs and adds £133 million of GVA to our economy, the study found.
The renewable energy industry – which now provides 90% of the electricity consumed in Scotland – is the country’s “passport to green economic recovery” from COVID-19, Scottish Renewables’ CEO Claire Mack has said.
A global surge in demand for a low-carbon recovery from coronavirus has also been revealed by Scottish Renewables’: countries with more than £2.9 trillion in combined GDP have so far placed a green recovery at the heart of their post-pandemic response.
The body has outlined actions the Scottish Government could take alongside the 17,700-strong, £5.5 billion-a-year renewable energy industry.
Key to those are:
- Establishing a Renewable Transition Training Fund to support oil and gas professionals, supply chain businesses, tradesmen and public servants acquire sustainable, exportable skills and join the renewable energy industry.
- Using existing trade, export and investment powers to boost skills exports to nations seeking to undertake green recoveries.
- Working to accelerate the vital transition to clean heat, tapping the enormous economic opportunity offered by renewable technologies, using the public estate as a primer to create supply chains and local manufacturing.
Claire Mack said: “Put simply, the renewable energy industry is Scotland’s passport to green economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. No other industry but renewables provides the opportunity for investment, improvement of health and tackling the climate emergency in one, often shovel-ready package.”
As countries pledge a green recovery from coronavirus, the world faces an enormous increase in demand for the renewable energy skills which Scotland has been at the forefront of developing, according to Ms Mack.
She added: “Scotland acted early and set some of the world’s most challenging renewable energy targets, and so has decarbonised its economy quickly. We now have skills and products which the world is crying out for as it seeks to find a sustainable, low-carbon route out of the current economic downturn.
“Domestically the need to decarbonise our heat sector – probably the biggest battle faced in Scotland’s fight against climate change – provides enormous opportunity, with a Scottish Renewables study in November (2019) identifying 46 potential heat networks which can help cut Scotland’s carbon emissions by 10% while creating construction and civil engineering jobs.
“On top of all that, our expertise in offshore energy, particularly in the north east, coupled with the downturn in the oil and gas industry means many skilled workers are searching for new, sustainable careers. Our industry can provide those.
“A number of other actions, such as ensuring our planning process is aligned with the need to meet the 2045 net-zero target and taking advantage of hundreds of shovel-ready wind, hydro, solar and heat projects, would free up billions of pounds of investment and provide new jobs across Scotland.”
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