LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s renewable energy market is expected to turn over 24 billion pounds by 2020, more than double what British green energy companies made in 2010/11, a study by consultancy Innovas Solutions said on Tuesday.
This growth will be accompanied by a fourfold rise in employment in the sector, expected to soar to 400,000 by 2020, provided Britain meets its legally binding target of sourcing 15 percent of energy demand from renewables by the same year.
“Other areas of the world are taking the lead in areas where the UK has the capability to develop its own world leading companies,” said John Sharp, managing director of Innovas Solutions.
“There is no doubt that the majority of renewable energy technologies provide long term jobs across all skill levels at a regional and local level,” he said.
The report also showed the wind power sector was the main driver of Britain’s renewable energy industry, with nearly one third of green energy turnover in 2010/11 stemming from the sector (4 billion pounds) and also nearly one third of green energy workers were employed in the wind power supply chain (31,400 jobs).
The onshore and offshore wind sector also brought companies 500 million pounds in export value.
The introduction of state subsidies and their subsequent early reduction led to the highest year-on-year growth rates in the solar sector, which expanded by 280 percent.
Around 15,650 people were employed in the solar sector, the second-largest share of renewable energy jobs after the wind industry.
Britain sees its renewable energy industry as key to reducing carbon emissions, which the country has vowed to cut by 34 percent below 1990 levels by the end of this decade.
Britain also sees itself as a global leader in renewable energy research and is later this week holding an international clean energy conference with 23 nations to discuss cooperation in the sector.
Reporting by Karolin Schaps, editing by William Hardy