This means the number of people directly employed in these key parts of the renewable energy sector has increased by more than 6,300 in four years, rising from 9,100 in 2010.
The new figures, revealed in RenewableUK’s annual report ‘Wind Energy in the UK’, also show that the number of indirect jobs (for example supplying components) has increased by 8 percent since September 2013 to nearly 15,000 jobs. This means that more than 30,400 people owe their livelihoods to wind in the UK, mainly in STEM careers (based on qualifications in science, technology, engineering and maths).
More than 2,250 direct and indirect jobs in onshore and offshore wind have been created in just over 12 months.
RenewableUK’s chief executive, Maria McCaffery, said: “Nearly two and a half thousand people have joined the UK wind industry’s dynamic, highly motivated workforce over the last year. That’s a growth rate that most other sectors can only dream of – renewables is the employment engine of the future. The inspiring videos and photographs of the Faces of Wind Energy campaign, with backstories about individual workers’ personal commitments to tackling climate change, show the absolute determination of our workforce to clean up the way we generate electricity, to keep Britain’s lights on at the lowest possible cost.
“However, we still face numerous challenges. The growth of the most cost-effective of all renewable technologies, onshore wind, is threatened with extinction by the Conservatives misguided policy of ending all future support for it. The Tories are way out of step with the two-thirds majority of the public which consistently supports onshore wind. Politicians need to get behind the many thousands of people doing their bit to make onshore and offshore renewables a UK success story. Instead of standing in the way they should let the new faces of wind energy do their job for the sake of the nation.”