The first ever ONS figures to include direct and indirect jobs state that low carbon industries in Scotland generated £10.7 billion in turnover and supported 43,500 jobs in 2014.
This accounts for 12.9% of the total UK turnover, and 9.7% of the total employment, in the sector – both higher than Scotland’s share of the population, reinforcing the importance of the low carbon industries to the Scottish economy.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures on the low carbon and renewable energy economy in the UK for 2014, the latest year that figures are available, show:
• For onshore wind, Scotland has 46.2% of all UK employment and 57.2% of all UK turnover
• Supply chain activity accounted for £5.1 billion, or 47.7%, of total turnover and 21,500, or 49.4% jobs, higher than England (46.2%) and Wales (45.7%). Supply chain activity was marginally higher in Northern Ireland (50.0%)
• In low carbon electricity generation, Scotland has 18.0% of all UK employment and 23.6% of all UK turnover in this sector
• For low carbon heat, Scotland represents 16.0% of all UK employment and 14.9% of all UK turnover in this sector.
The figures reinforce the growing importance of the low carbon industries to the Scottish economy
Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said:
“This is great news. These industries – and their supply chains – generated almost £11bn in 2014 and supported thousands of high-value jobs. The figures reinforce the growing importance of the low carbon industries to the Scottish economy and vindicate the Scottish Government’s support for the sector and the increasingly crucial role it plays within Scotland’s energy mix and the wider economy.
“The Scottish Government strongly supports development of renewable energy and provisional energy statistics show that renewable energy sources accounted for more than 56.7% of gross electricity consumption in Scotland in 2015.
“In welcoming these figures, however, we must remember recent UK Government decisions that continue to create serious uncertainty across the sector. Delays in announcing which technologies will be supported in the next round of auctions that support the renewable energy sector, for example, are putting at risk existing investments made, and jobs created, in developing renewable energy projects.
“Today’s figures underline both the huge opportunity that decarbonising our energy system presents, as well as the critical importance of continuing to support the sector properly – encouraging investment, generating value, and creating jobs across Scotland.”
Commenting on the news that low carbon industries in Scotland generated nearly £11 billion in turnover and supported 43,500 jobs in 2014, WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said:
“These figures underline the importance of low-carbon businesses to Scotland in helping our economy grow and creating new jobs.
“The leadership that the Scottish Government has shown, through setting ambitious targets for renewable electricity generation, has helped Scotland capture a far greater proportion of jobs in key renewable industries in the UK.
“However, with electricity generation now accounting for less than one quarter of Scotland’s climate change emissions, it’s now time to begin to reap the same benefits by increasing the use of renewables in our heat and transport sectors.
“Setting ambitious renewable electricity targets helped give industry certainty. A new target to generate half of all our energy needs from renewable sources by 2030 would do the same for other parts of our economy, especially heat and transport.”
Responding to new figures from the Office of National Statistics which show the contribution of the renewable energy sector to Scotland’s economy; Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “These UK Government figures show once again the positive economic impact renewable energy has on our economy.
“At all levels of our industry – from the companies which develop wind farm, hydro and biomass projects and more to the consultancies, legal firms and accountants who support the sector – the opportunities from decarbonising our energy supply are increasingly clear.
“These new statistics underline the value of continued government support for green energy and show that tackling climate change goes hand in hand with economic opportunity.”
7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption
Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.
This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?
Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.
New Technologies to Watch
These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:
- Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
- Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
- New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
- Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
- Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
- The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
- Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.
Making the Investment
All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.
Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis
Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.
Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?”
Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.
Tip #1: Focus & Determination
Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.
Tip #2: Minimize Spending
One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!
Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal
You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.
Investing in Clean Energy
One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.
With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.
The Future of Green Biz
As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.
Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.
In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!