Renewable energy can create up to 150,000 new UK jobs, six times more than nuclear electricity, 75% long-term

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Nicholas Doherty on Unsplash
October 7, 2020

 

Wider adoption of renewable electricity can lead to 150,000 jobs by 2030 in the UK power sector, according to a new study by Theodoros Arvanitopoulos of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia and Paolo Agnolucci, Associate Professor at University College London’s Bartlett School. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday, Tuesday 06 October 2020, announced support for creating 60,000 jobs by 2030.

 “We found robust evidence for new job creation as the UK progresses to decarbonisation,” said Theodoros.

New renewable energy has led to the energy sector employing 11 million people globally from 2012-2018. In 2019, UK wind farms, solar panels, biomass, and hydro plants generated more electricity than coal, oil, and gas combined. Carbon intensive technologies are gradually being abandoned with consequent reduction in employment.

Theodoros and Paolo analysed employment in the UK power sector and amount of electricity produced by different technologies from 1990 to 2016.

They conclude there could be 150,000 net jobs created by 2030, with an average of about 55,000 jobs, depending on the types of energy mix that is delivering decarbonisation. Increasing renewable electricity can stimulate six times higher long-term employment impact than an equally sized increase in nuclear electricity. 

Seventy five per cent of the jobs created by the deployment of renewable energy are sustainable in the long term.

 “The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has just announced further incentivising and supporting the further deployment of renewable electricity in the UK,” Theodoros said.

“Renewable electricity supply can have a considerable positive long-term employment effect far beyond 60,000 long-term sustainable jobs,” Theodoros concludes. 

On Tuesday, 6thof October, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announceda budget of £160m for wind turbine upgrades to help the country “build back greener.” This will create 2,000 jobs in construction and support 60,000 more. Johnson also announced plans to raise its offshore wind power capacity from 30 gigawatts to 40 gigawatts.

Theodoros Arvanitopoulos and Paolo Agnolucci’s research is published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and UK Energy Research Council.


Read the full paper

This research has been funded by Natural Environment Research Council (NE/M019799/1) and UK Energy Research Council (Grant Number: EP/L024756/1).