A comprehensive new report by Scottish Renewables has revealed that more than 11,000 people are employed in the renewable energy sector in Scotland. The study entitled, ‘Delivering the Ambition: employment in renewable energy in Scotland’ uncovers the true scale of Scotland’s renewable energy industry and its worth to the economy.

The paper surveyed more than 200 companies working across a number of different renewable technologies including, wind, solar, tidal and bioenergy. The report highlights the true variety of full-time equivalent posts in Scotland’s renewable industry including, 1,526 employees in renewable energy development (this includes utilities, project and technology developers), 8,701 employed in the direct supply chain and, in addition, 909 jobs in academia and the wider public sector. This gives a total of 11,136 full time posts in renewable energy in Scotland.

Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “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 report also highlights that for every job in renewable energy development, there are around six more in the direct supply chain. 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.”

Stuart added: “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.

The report also shows that Scotland has a renewable project pipeline of more than 20GW with the ability for the sector to grow quickly and substantially over the coming years, helping to ease unemployment across the nation.

Stuart stressed: “A clear pattern emerges from speaking to employers that these numbers are expected to grow over the year ahead and beyond, as this relatively new industry continues to expand. 

“As a growth sector, it also offers new opportunities for the existing workforce and business base in parts of the economy which have been hit by the downturn.”

However, Stuart warned that none of this can be taken for granted with political support for the industry key to its continued success:

“With continued political support, the right market framework, the right balance in the planning system, and investment in grid and ports and harbour infrastructure, we will ensure the creation of many thousands more jobs in this exciting new sector.”