Renewables boosted the UK economy by £2.5bn

Government figures have revealed billions of pounds and thousands of jobs have been created by renewable energy.

The figures don't address possible job losses from cuts to renewable power, such as with the Feed-In Tariff (FITs) changes, but were published as an update on progress to source 15% of the UK power from renewables.

Energy minister, Chris Huhne, said the latest research from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) shows that so far this financial year, companies have announced plans for almost £2.5billion worth of investment in renewable energy projects in the UK, with the potential to create almost 12,000 jobs across the country.

Also a separate report to the European Commission on renewable energy progress that showed that the UK:

* Achieved a 27% increase in renewable energy consumption from 42.6TWh in 2008 to 54TWh in 2010 - representing 3.3% of total energy consumed.
* Increased wind generation by 46% from 7TWh in 2008 to 10.2TWh in 2010, and in 2010 achieved 5GW of offshore and onshore wind capacity; and
* Saw a threefold increase in the use of biofuels in transport from 1% of total road transport fuel supply in 2007/8 to 3.33% in 2010.

Mr Huhne said: "Renewable energy is not just helping us increase our energy security and reduce our emissions.

"It is supporting jobs and growth across the country, and giving traditional industrial heartlands the opportunity to thrive again.

"Our renewable target is less demanding than other EU member states, but the effect is bringing real jobs and investment.

"I do not want the UK to be left behind by turning our back on the green economy, the agreement to negotiate a global deal secured at Durban has reinforced major nations' commitment to cutting carbon. We cannot afford to stand alone while the world wises up."

Luke Walsh


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