Scotland Sees Clean Energy Revving Up Economy

Scotland has been actively pursuing its goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2020. Among its initiatives has been the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) that is home to research and development projects on underwater and ocean energy devices and has launched various development in Scotland’s waters.

But Scotland may be saving more than the environment as it shuts down its fossil fuel generation and begins to install renewable energy devices. According to a report released at the recent Scottish Renewables Annual Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland boasts 11,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector.

image via Scottish Renewables

Titled “Delivering the Ambition: employment in renewable energy in Scotland,” the report surveyed 200 renewable energy companies and found there were 1,526 employees working in the sector, with an additional 8,701 employees tied to renewable energy along those company’s supply chains. In addition, 909 professionals in academia and the public sector were also working on renewable energy.

“These numbers are actually just the tip of the iceberg, with many thousands more employees supported indirectly by the growth of the renewables sector which have not been captured by this study,” said Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, in a statement. He added that the renewable energy industry is also drawing private sector investments that are revitalizing the economy in other sectors as well.

“These jobs are spread throughout the country, in both urban and rural areas:  Glasgow, Fife and Edinburgh are already established as important centres for offshore wind development; Aberdeen is a major centre for offshore engineering; the Highlands and Islands are leading the development of the emerging wave and tidal sector; and bioenergy is providing jobs across rural Scotland from Lochaber to Morayshire to Dumfries and Galloway,” he said.

Shifra Mincer is a freelance journalist and passionate tweeter (@Shiframincer) currently living in Israel. Before moving to Israel to apprentice with a homebirth midwife, Shifra worked as Associate Editor of AOL Energy, and was a member of the launch team that got the site up and running. Shifra has over a half a decade of experience in journalism and has written on women's health, green technology, politics and regulation of the energy industry, energy financial news, and local news. While studying for her B.A. at Harvard College, Shifra worked as a news editor for the Harvard Crimson. Shifra is also a yoga teacher and a birth doula and is hoping to create an active Jewish birth community through her web venture www.layda.org.