15,000 new green jobs in the East of England by 2035, report projects

The Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex coast contains 56% of the UK's wind farm capacity Picture: SCOTTISH

The Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex coast contains 56% of the UK's wind farm capacity Picture: SCOTTISHPOWER RENEWABLES - Credit: Archant

There will be more than 15,000 extra green jobs in the East of England by 2035, according to a report published today.

REview21, the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology’s (REA) annual report, projected that the number of people employed in the renewable energy and clean technology sector could increase by 15,200.

In 2019 the East of England renewable sector employed 10,800 people, and its current market value is £1.8billion.

But, using employment models and analysis of the government’s current renewables policy, the renewable energy trade association projects that within 15 years 26,000 people will be employed in the sector.

These figures do not include the projected workforce for the planned Sizewell C nuclear power station, and cover the whole of Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire as well as Peterborough.

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Despite its reputation as a site of off-shore wind farms, the East of England is the only UK region where wind energy is not the largest renewables employer, providing jobs for just 26% of the workforce.

Bioenergy is the biggest renewables employer in the East of England, with the sector supporting 29.7% of renewable and clean tech jobs in the region.

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Dr Nina Skorupska, REA chief executive, said: “REview21 underlines the huge economic opportunities on offer for the East of England. The renewable energy and clean tech industry currently supports the employment of just under 11,000 jobs, but we believe that could increase by over 15,000 by 2035.

“This figure could be even greater if the Government properly backs our sector and puts the industry at the heart of the UK’s economic recovery. By the same token, these job projections aren’t a guarantee either. If the sector continues to receive patchy and short-term support from the Government then we could fall well short of our sector’s, and, indeed, the East of England’s economic potential.

“If the Government is serious about reaching their Net Zero ambitions, and about ‘levelling up’, they need to back our sector and help us deliver new jobs and investment in the East of England.”

Nationally the REA report forecasts an additional 195,000 job in the renewable energy and clean technologies industry by 2035.

Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia LEP, said: “This latest report underlines how significant our renewable energy sector will be in terms of our economic recovery.

"With the potential to supply up to 50% of the UK’s 40GW target by 2030 and the proposed new nuclear power station at Sizewell expected to meet 7% of the country’s demand, this region stands to play a massive role in the drive to net zero.

"To ensure we capitalise on this and other opportunities, we need the necessary workforce and skills. Our Energy Sector Recovery Plan set out the opportunities and challenges ahead and identifies the actions needed to respond to these.

"Meanwhile, the New Anglia Clean Growth Taskforce – which met for the first time today – will support businesses in reducing their emissions and developing the technology which will deliver for the environment as well as the economy.”  

Andy Walker, head of policy and public affairs at the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s great to see the projections of future job growth in the renewables sector, and with a long coastline, large areas of rural land, and a vital agriculture sector, clean energy is going to be vital for Suffolk and the East of England’s economic recovery”.

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