Renewable energy creates up to ten times more jobs than similar sized fossil fuel ventures, a new UK study shows.

The research by UK-ERC’s Technology and Policy Assessment team, looked at job growth in the UK, USA and China since 2000 and found that electricity from coal and gas creates 0.1-0.2 gross jobs per gigawatt-hour
generated electricity from wind creates 0.05-0.5 gross job per gigawatt-hour generated.

The research also showed that renewable energy and energy efficiency create up to 1 job per gigawatt-hour more than fossil fuels and when the economy is under performing, such as during a recession, it is sensible to focus government expenditure on these labour-intensive sectors.

Dr. Will Blythe from Oxford Energy Associates who lead the two-year research project, said: “Go
vernment-led investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency can help the economy to grow in times of recession by promoting employment,

“When the economy is starting to recover – such as now – the key challenge for government policy is to encourage an economically efficient transition towards the country’s strategic goals – such as tackling climate change. Here there is a strong case for investment in renewable technologies and efficiency measures as part of the transformational change to a low carbon energy system,” he adds.

Dr Rob Gross, from Imperial College London, one of the authors of the report, said: “The green job
s debate has always been vexed – often because it has been argued between vested interests and because analysis is too short-term or provides an incomplete picture. Our report helps explain the issues and shows that, in principle, investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency can create more jobs.

“Ultimately, it’s important that we think through these issues and the kind of future we want,” he adds.

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