Renewable energy causing ‘remarkable and undeniable’ positive effects to rural Scotland

A report by the industry body, Scottish Renewables, has shown the ‘remarkable and undeniable’ positive effects of renewable energy to rural Scotland.

The document features five economic studies carried out over the past three years on wind, hydropower and marine energy from Dumfries and Galloway in the south of the country to Orkney in the north.

Key findings from the report 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.

Nick Sharpe, director of communications and 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.”