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One in six renewable energy jobs in Scotland at risk

Staff Writer |
Businesses working in the Scottish renewable energy sector are anticipating a sixth of their workforce will be lost within the next 12 months.

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Scottish Renewables polled its members on employment levels and confidence over the next year, with respondents predicting an average decrease in full-time equivalent posts in Scotland of 16.9%.

Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy at Scottish Renewables, said: “These results show that changes to and closures of support schemes are having an impact on our members and on the numbers of employees within their businesses.

“The UK Government is rightly excited about the economic opportunities presented by the impacts of the global shift to low-carbon energy, but it's really important we don’t forget about the jobs in our renewable energy sector today.

“Onshore wind and solar are the two cheapest forms of electricity, but ministers are refusing to allow them to access long term contracts for power, which will result in a marked slowdown in investment and a decrease in employment, as our survey has suggested.”

Scottish Renewables’ Employment Trends and Business Confidence survey also asked respondents how they felt about the future of the renewables sector more generally over the coming 12 months.

More than four in ten (41%) said they felt either quite or very negative, while the same number said they felt "neutral" about the coming year.

Scottish Renewables Director of Policy, Ms Hogan said: “Renewables are the largest source of power in Scotland, providing enough energy to meet more than half of our electricity needs, and the sector currently employs around 21,000 people here.

“For Scotland's renewable energy industry to continue providing jobs and ever-greater reductions in carbon emissions, government must act quickly to give companies the confidence they need to keep investing in our sector.”

Surprisingly, more respondents felt positive about the future of their own businesses over the next 12 months than felt negatively.

Some 47% said they felt either very positive or quite positive, while 32% felt either very negative or quite negative. A fifth (20%) said they felt neutral.

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