Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has recently voiced his hopes that the renewable industry will help to create as many as 400,000 jobs by 2020.
Investment in renewable energy is growing at annual rate of 3.7%, reaching a current rate of £3 trillion – a fact that is fuelling the predicted boom in vacancies in the renewable energy sector.
A survey from the Renewable Energy Association (REA) revealed that while almost two-thirds (32%) of firms expected employment levels in the renewable sector to stay the same, twice as many firms expected employment levels to take an upward turn, compared to those who expected employment levels to fall.
With optimism high for the prospects of the renewable sector, there are a number of renewable energy sectors that could see jobs growth in the coming years.
Offshore wind has been highlighted as one of the Green Investment Bank’s (GIB) four key priority sectors. Scotland has emerged as one of the biggest success stories in the renewable sector, responsible for more than 25% of Europe’s wind power resources and for 40% of the UK’s overall wind power resources.
In the last two years alone, a staggering £2.3bn of investment has been pumped into the wind energy sector in Scotland, with this cash-injection supporting more than 4,500 jobs.
Development in the UK’s tidal energy sector has also been gathering pace, with the announcement of a £650 million Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project, with construction on the project expected by begin in 2015 if the proposals are realized.
US tidal power company ResHydro has also announced that it is establishing a base in Scotland to develop its hydrokinetic energy generation device, potentially creating more jobs in the sector, such as those on offer at Randstad CP&E jobs.
After commissioning Europe’s largest wood pellet handling and storage facility in 2010 the Port of Tyne, a deep water port in Tyne and Wear, with an initial investment of £20 million, it has now revealed that it is investing a further £180 million in expanding its operations.
The news means that the UK economy will have an additional £46m Gross Value Added, with 900 jobs in construction, 300 full-time operational jobs and supporting an additional 2,000 jobs.
The Green Investment Bank has also recently announced that it providing £18 million of funding for a biomass energy centre, powering two Cambridge hospitals, again potentially creating more jobs in the renewable sector.
With growth in a number of renewable energy sectors, it appears that employment prospects will continue to be bright.