Energy efficiency driving UK’s clean economy, renewable heat rises


Energy efficiency remains the bedrock of the UK’s low carbon industry, according to latest government data. Meanwhile turnover in the renewable heat sector saw the largest absolute growth across the low carbon economy.

The figures are for 2017 and are obtained via a survey sent by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to 24,000 businesses in the UK’s low carbon and renewable energy sector.

The ONS said the sector’s turnover was £44.5bn in 2017, employing 209,500 people.

Of those, two thirds worked in the energy efficiency sub-sector, and were responsible for almost half of turnover (£20.7bn).

Renewable energy, where renewable heat and alternative fuels are grouped together with renewable generation such as bioenergy, (including biomass CHP), wind, solar and hydro, was the next largest sector.

It accounted for over one-third of all UK low carbon and renewable energy industry turnover and around one-fifth of employees.

Turnover increased 10% to £15.3 billion in 2017. Renewable heat drove growth and saw the largest absolute growth in turnover in the industry between 2016 and 2017, of £1.2 billion.

The data underlined decline in onshore wind and solar sectors as fewer projects came forward as a result of policy decisions and subsidy scheme closures.

Employment in onshore wind decreased by 35.3% to 5,300, turnover fell by 15.1% to £2.8 billion.

Turnover in the solar industry fell 17% to £1.5bn and employment fell around 10% to 4,700, with subsidy reductions a likely factor, said the ONS.

See the data here.

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