The UK’s low carbon and renewable energy economy (LCREE) has grown to be worth £46.7bn year, according to new data released today by the Office for National Statistics.
The ONS report assessing the sector’s 2018 performance revealed the LCREE had grown by more than 15% in just three years, after its 2015 turnover was estimated at £40.4bn.
Jobs in the LCREE had nearly kept pace, with 224,800 full-time equivalent roles in the industry in 2018, amounting to growth of 12% in three years.
The energy efficient products sub-sector remains the largest in the UK LCREE, claiming 36% (£16.7bn) of its turnover and 51% (114,400) of its jobs.
When it comes to exports, it is low-emission vehicles which dominate, with such trade accounting for 59% (£3.1bn) of total UK LCREE exports in 2018.
The ONS said: “The LCREE accounted for around 1% of total UK non-financial turnover and employment in 2018, similar to 2015 to 2017.
“This figure was slightly higher for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland than England and the UK as a whole, suggesting that the LCREE is relatively more important in those countries.”
Investment in the sector showed a big increase of 48%, standing at £8.1bn and driven primarily by a rise in acquisitions by the offshore wind sector (growth of £3.5bn between 2015 and 2018).
Further major growth is predicted in the sector over coming years, with the Government pledging to make the UK carbon neutral by 2050.
This target is rated as one of the most ambitious national green initiatives in the world, and one described by Energy and Clean Growth Minister Chris Skidmore as ‘driving prosperity by seizing the economic opportunities of becoming a greener economy’.