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Press releases

Green energy ‘creates more jobs’

UK Energy Research Centre

2 min read Partner content

Renewable energy creates up to ten times more jobs than fossil fuels, according to new research.

A studyfrom the UK Energy Research Centre( UKERC) suggests that both renewable energy and energy efficiency create up to 1 job per gigawatt-hour more than fossil fuels.

It also found that when the economy is underperforming, such as during a recession, it is sensible to focus government expenditure on these labour-intensive sectors.

The study, by UKERC’s Technology and Policy Assessment team, analysed data from fifty studies published since 2000 on the relationship between green energy investment and job creation in the USA, Europe and China.

“Government-led investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency can offer short-term benefits, helping the economy to grow in times of recession by promoting employment,” said Dr Will Blyth from Oxford Energy Associates, who led the two-year research project.

“When the economy is starting to recover – such as now – the key challenge for government policy is to encourage an economically efficient transition towards the country’s strategic goals – such as tackling climate change. Here there is a strong case for investment in renewable technologies and efficiency measures as part of the transformational change to a low carbon energy system,” he adds.

The reportconcludes that ‘green jobs’ is not a useful prism through which to view the wider benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency investment. The green jobs debate must look beyond short-term benefits and consider the crucial role renewable energy and energy efficiency have in reshaping the economy as part of a broader industrial and environmental strategy.

“The green jobs debate has always been vexed – often because it has been argued between vested interests and because analysis is too short-term or provides an incomplete picture,” said Dr Rob Gross, from Imperial College London, one of the authors of the report.

“Our reporthelps explain the issues and shows that, in principle, investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency can create jobs.
“However, the issues are complex and simplistic conclusions are best avoided.

“Ultimately, it is more helpful to think about jobs in terms of long-term goals and the major challenges we all face, like tackling climate change. This is why it’s important that we think through these issues and the kind of future we want.”

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