A new report by Regen SW, the renewable energy experts, reveals we are at risk of missing out on the opportunity to create 24,000 new jobs in renewable energy by 2020.
The report “Potential Energy – Potential Jobs: building a low carbon economy in south west England” analyses progress in renewable energy technologies like wind, solar, marine and biomass. It shows we have made good progress doubling renewable energy, but that on current trends the south west will achieve about 9 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2020 – well short of the government’s UK wide target for 15 per cent.
At this rate of growth the number of people employed in renewables will grow from the 10,000 people currently employed to some 15,500 by 2020. However, if growth accelerates to meet the 15 per cent target we could reach 34,000 renewable energy jobs by 2020.
The report sets out six key measures for success:
- Clear, consistent and certain national policy framework for renewable energy
- Local planning policies that back renewable energy
- Investment in the local electricity grid to cope with decentralised energy
- Improved engagement between local communities and renewable energy developers
- LEP & local authorities putting renewable energy at the top of the growth agenda for infrastructure and skills investment
- Industry and academia collaboration on new technologies.
Regen SW is now working on a ‘South West Renewable Energy Manifesto’ to respond to the findings and will be inviting local MPs, public sector and business leaders to sign up later in the year.