The latest Government figures show business is booming for firms in the low carbon and environmental goods and services sector (LCEGS).
The figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveal that over 96,000 businesses were operating in the sector
in 2014 – the most recent year for which data is available – and that together they supported over 238,000 jobs.
In response to the news, Maf Smith, the deputy chief executive of the trade body Renewable UK is reported to have said: “Renewable energy is delivering massive economic benefits to Britain.
“Government has decided that in future our electricity will come from gas, nuclear and renewables but not coal, and these figures show that renewables are delivering.”
Although the sector does include renewables like wind and solar, the ONS figures show that the majority of jobs and turnover were actually in energy efficiency products, a sub-sector employing more than 155,000 people and generating turnover of Â£21.9 billion.
Experts recognise that energy efficiency has a crucial role to play in decarbonising the economy by reducing demand so that it’s easier for non-fossil fuels to meet the country’s needs.
This latest assessment of the economic contribution made by the LCEGS sector comes in the week after coal-fired power stations provided little or none of the electricity consumed in the UK for several hours at a time, over a number of days.
Although it was a rare combination of low gas prices, moderate wind and high-pressure, sunny days that led to coal generation being cut right back, it shows what is possible with the right energy mix.