New report sets out renewable energy’s contribution to rural Scotland

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Renewable energy’s contribution to the economy of rural Scotland is analysed in a new publication by industry body Scottish Renewables – an easily-accessible review of five economic studies carried out over the past three years.

It shows the “remarkable an undeniable” positive effects of the sustainable development of wind, hydropower and marine energy from Dumfries and Galloway in the south to Orkney in the north.

Highlights include:

  • The 40 marine renewables-related businesses which have sprung up to service this cutting-edge sector in Orkney, currently employing around 200 people locally.
  • Three wind farms and a hydropower station in the Great Glen, built between 2012 and 2018, which will generate £1.2 billion for Scotland’s economy over their lifetime, with £360 million of that staying in the local area.
  • More than 90,000 overnight hotel stays in Caithness during the construction of a £970 million, 70-mile undersea cable – worth an estimated £4.5 million to the region.

The front page of the report features a map of Scotland shaded by the renewable energy generation capacity installed in local authority regions.

Nick Sharpe, Director of Communications & Strategy at Scottish Renewables, said:

“Renewable energy already employs 17,700 people in Scotland, and we know that many of those jobs are in remote or rural areas where this type of sustainable development, leading to skilled, non-seasonal work, is badly needed.

This report provides an easily-digested summary of five detailed studies carried out by our members in recent years. It shows the remarkable and undeniable breadth and depth of this industry’s positive impact on rural Scotland.

Approval ratings for renewable energy deployment continue to rise, and there is a pressing need to build more generation capacity both to tackle the climate emergency and secure a green economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. With that in mind we hope this short publication will act as a focal point for sustainable decisions on the future of renewables in rural Scotland in future.”

The report is available to download on Scottish Renewables’ website.

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