Cordant Focus

Category: Industry Sector Insights


Current Summary of Renewable Energy (2015)

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In the five years through 2015-16, industry revenue is forecast to increase at a compound annual rate of 7.1% to £2.7 billion. Unusually strong winds and high levels of rainfall are projected to have helped industry revenue rise by 11.7% during 2013-14, however slower wind speeds led to lower growth in 2014-15. In the current year, revenue is forecast to rise by 6%.

Recent statistics reveal that wind power has become an extremely important contributor of energy. Scotland has become a key location for wind farms and now boasts 25% of Europe's offshore wind resources.

Wind power delivers a growing fraction of the energy in the United Kingdom and at the beginning of January 2015, wind power in the United Kingdom consisted of 5,958 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of just under 12 gigawatts: 7,950 megawatts of onshore capacity and 4,049 megawatts of offshore capacity. The United Kingdom is ranked as the world's sixth largest producer of wind power, having overtaken France and Italy in 2012.

Global wind power - employment crossed 1 million jobs in 2014, up from 834,000 the year before, primarily fuelled by deployment in China, Germany, the United States and Brazil.

Solar PV is the largest renewable energy employer, accounting for 2.5  million jobs - China remains the top solar energy job market, retaining its undisputed lead in manufacturing while also expanding its domestic market.

In the United States, installations continue growing, driving job creation linked to solar PV and other solar technologies. In contrast, solar PV employment in the European Union has decreased by 35% to about 165,000 jobs in 2013.

Liquid biofuels remain a large employer, accounting for nearly 1.8 million jobs worldwide. Brazil has the largest workforce, with 845,000 employed. The United States, France and Germany are key biofuel producers (1.8 million jobs).

The European Union has seen moderate additions with wind employment increasing by 5.6% to reach 319,600 in 2013. Germany accounted for nearly half of these jobs, followed by the United Kingdom, Italy and Denmark. In 2014, the growing offshore segment employed 75,000 in Europe.