Britain’s low carbon and renewable energy (LCRE) companies have combined revenues of £46.2 billion in 2014, according to new data.

The first “green economy” figures compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also revealed that the 96,500 businesses operating in the green economy employ the equivalent of 238,500 full-time staff.

The majority of the businesses covered by the data operated in the construction industry.

Renewable energy accounted for £15.9bn of the total and for the equivalent of 43,500 full-time jobs.

Scotland leads the UK

In Scotland, 5.2% of companies operated in the green economy, compared with 4.4% for the UK as a whole.

The figures came as re-elected First Minister Nicola Sturgeon named her Scottish cabinet.

Roseanna Cunningham has been appointed as the first Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, while former Economy, Energy and Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing has been named as the first Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity.

The energy remit has been handed to Keith Brown, the newly-created Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work.

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