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Sunday 19 November 2017
19 November 2017 - NEWS UPDATE
Renewable Energy

How the South West is missing out on 24,000 renewable energy jobs

The South West is at risk of missing out on the opportunity to create 24,000 new jobs in renewable energy by 2020. A Regen SW report "Potential Energy – Potential Jobs: building a low carbon economy in south west England" analyses progress in renewable energy technologies like wind, solar, marine and biomass.

It shows we have made good progress doubling renewable energy, but that on current trends the south west will achieve about 9 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2020 – well short of the government's UK wide target for 15 per cent.

At this rate of growth the number of people employed in renewables will grow from the 10,000 people currently employed to some 15,500 by 2020.

However, if growth accelerates to meet the 15 per cent target we could reach 34,000 renewable energy jobs by 2020.

The report will be formally launched at Renewable Energy Marketplace, the showcase of the south west renewable energy and energy efficiency sector, in Exeter on 19 March.

Merlin Hyman, chief executive of Regen SW said "This report shows we have made great progress in renewable energy in the past year, but we need to redouble our efforts if we are to make the most of the potential to create new jobs and thriving companies exporting their skills and expertise around the world."

He continued "renewable energy is a huge opportunity to generate the jobs and investment we need, but we must back key projects like offshore wind farms and put in place a framework to enable the sector to thrive."

Nicholas Ames, managing director of Supacat said "As a leading design and development company, the renewable energy sector is an important new market for Supacat's skills and key to our future growth. We already directly employ ten people on Marine and Offshore Renewable projects, such as a wave energy device and a new support vessel for offshore wind farms, and have plans to grow this business significantly over the next few years."

Robert Asquith, planning director at New Earth Advanced Thermal Technology, said "New Earth Advanced Thermal Technology is currently commissioning a ground-breaking 13 MW advanced energy recovery plant in Bristol, developed at our R&D centre in Dorset. This project illustrates that, with the right support, there is tremendous potential in the south west for development of innovative renewable energy technologies."

The report sets out six key measures for success:

1. Clear, consistent and certain national policy framework for renewable energy

2. Local planning policies that back renewable energy

3. Investment in the local electricity grid to cope with decentralised energy

4. Improved engagement between local communities and renewable energy developers

5. LEP & local authorities putting renewable energy at the top of the growth agenda for infrastructure and skills investment

6. Industry and academia collaboration on new technologies.

Regen SW is now working on a 'South West Renewable Energy Manifesto' to respond to the findings and will be inviting local MPs, public sector and business leaders to sign up later in the year.

Get involved and join the twitter conversation #RenewableEnergy

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