New data reveals that Scotland's green energy sector and its associated supply chain have contributed to the employment of over 42,000 individuals. According to a report from Strathclyde University's Fraser of Allander Institute, offshore wind activities have generated over 15,000 full-time equivalent positions, while onshore wind and renewable heat have supported 12,030 and 7,220 roles, respectively.
The report further discloses that offshore wind has been the most economically impactful, contributing over £4 billion to the Scottish economy. Onshore wind follows with £3.4 billion, then hydropower with £1.2 billion. The Fraser of Allander Institute's study evaluates the influence of the renewable energy sector on Scotland's economy and supply chain.
The absence of a precise definition for the renewable energy sector in national statistics from the UK or Scottish Governments has led to an estimation of its size using data from the ONS. Scottish Renewables' Chief Executive, Claire Mack, expresses optimism about the sector's positive impact on employment and economic output, emphasising the need for more comprehensive data collection to demonstrate the industry's contributions to both Scotland and the broader UK as they transition towards net-zero.
Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, Professor Mairi Spowage, underscores the foundational role of renewable energy in achieving a net-zero economy. The report highlights the sector's significant contribution to Scotland's economy, identifying potential opportunities such as new export markets, technological development and prosperity for rural areas. While acknowledging these prospects, Spowage emphasises the necessity for collaboration between government and industry to establish robust data for assessing progress.
Over the past three years, Scottish Renewables and the Fraser of Allander Institute have jointly published an annual report on the economic impact renewable energy has had on Scotland. This year's figures indicate a substantial increase, primarily attributed to a surge in offshore wind turnover in 2021.