The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has welcomed Labour’s intention to focus on the creation of up to 300,000 jobs in the sector.

The pledge came from Barry Gardiner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade, Europe, Energy and Climate Change at the annual Labour Party conference.

Dr Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive of the REA, said:

"The signing of the Paris agreement signifies a sea change in investment towards renewables and clean technologies in the coming decades. The UK is facing an extraordinary opportunity to be a core player in renewable and clean tech research, finance, and deployment.

"We fully agree with Labour’s forecast for the potential of 300,000 jobs, at least. The industry already employs over 115,000 people and has been growing at a rate twice as fast as the economy overall.”

Broader benefits highlighted

The REA said the benefits of the transition to a lower carbon economy are broader than solely employment numbers.

It said the decentralised nature of renewables means that a variety of skilled work will be required across the length and breadth of the UK.

“Decentralised energy also offers a new source of savings or revenue, over a million people in the UK are already doing so through solar PV, energy storage, EV’s and other tech,” its said.

The Renewable Energy Association’s report REView 2016 found that there were nearly 117,000 employees in the renewable energy industry in 2014/15. The industry grew 6.6% in 2014/15, up from 6.1% the previous year, which is over twice the rate of the UK economy overall.

> Read the REA's statement in full