More than 11,000 people already work in Scotland’s renewable-energy industry, according to a study published today.
Scottish Renewables says it expects this figure to rise in the coming years because the sector is relatively new.
The industry currently supports the equivalent of 11,136 full-time jobs, spread across the country, the trade’s report adds.
It also says the north and north-east are home to a growing number of jobs in the sector, helped by Aberdeen’s role as a major centre for offshore engineering and the Highlands and islands leading the development of wave and tidal power as well as bioenergy projects.
After interviewing more than 200 firms, Scottish Renewables says the biggest employer in the industry by source is onshore wind, supporting more than 2,200 jobs.
In the report, Scottish Renewables adds: “At a time of slow economic growth, the sector will be a major source of investment, providing a much-needed injection of capital to drive forward the economy. Likewise, it will be an important source of new jobs for those leaving education and training, making the industry a key part of our response to rising youth unemployment.”
Analysts have previously cast doubt on the scale of Scotland’s renewable-energy industry.
Richard Marsh, director of Edinburgh-based 4-Consulting, said earlier this month the sector might only sustain 300 jobs.
Mr Marsh told Holyrood’s economy committee that demand for nearly 50,000 jobs may arise between now and 2020 but he expected most of them to be temporary.
Siemens said yesterday its UK tidal-power business, Marine Current Turbines (MCT), had opened a satellite office in Inverness to spearhead work in Scotland. The German manufacturer said the new office was led by David Langston, who had joined MCT as head of business development from marine-energy firm Voith Hydro Wavegen.