In the latest annual report, REview23, the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA) has unveiled substantial growth in the UK's renewable energy and clean technology sector. With a workforce of over 140,700 during the 2021/22 period, the report projects a potential surge to 210,000 jobs by 2035.
While celebrating the positive momentum in renewable power, REview23 notes the hurdles encountered in steering the energy transition. The report accentuates the necessity for robust government policies in crucial areas, including heat, transport and circular bioresources. It asserts that achieving the UK's commitments to net zero will pose a formidable challenge without such supportive measures.
A pivotal insight from the report highlights the economic prospects embedded in the energy transition. The renewable energy and clean technology industry is anticipating a twofold increase in its market value, soaring to a projected £46 billion by the year 2035. However, this expansion hinges on the presence of steadfast government policies and a resolute commitment to green initiatives.
In a clarion call to policymakers, the report stresses that the government needs to address existing policy gaps, bolster support for the renewable energy sector, and acknowledge the economic dividends associated with the move to clean energy. Dr. Nina Skorupska, CEO of the REA, underscores the imperative to overcome policy and investment impediments highlighted in REview23. Government statistics from 2022 show that a mere 14% of the UK's total energy consumption stemmed from renewable sources across transport, heat and power.
Dr. Skorupska emphasises the sense of urgency needed to surmount policy and investment roadblocks, indicating that the renewable energy and clean technology sector demonstrated resilience amid the energy crisis and months of political uncertainty in 2022. However, she acknowledges the sector's vulnerability to real-world economic forces.