Renewable Energy: What does is mean for the economy?

With climate change dominating the headlines following the Paris climate talks, it seems that energy sources are a primary concern of many governments.

It would be assumed that this fresh wave of concern for climate change should lead to an increased role of renewable energy technologies in the UK’s energy use, however evidence has shown that green technologies have been suffering.

Trading at 15-22% lower than last year, renewable technologies have taken a hit following the falling price of oil.

Investment analyst, Boris Valentinov said;

“Since by and large, producing clean energy is more expensive than oil, the lower the price of oil, the less economically viable clean energy becomes as an alternative. The fortunes of clean-energy companies are closely tied to what happens with oil.”

Whilst in the short term oil and gas might be seen as cheaper options, what will a greater investment in green technologies mean for the economy?

Two main reasons that renewable energy technologies offer an economic advantage are;

1. They are labour intensive. They tend to create more jobs per pound invested than the conventional electricity generation technologies

2. They use primarily indigenous resources. This means that most of the energy investment can be kept at home.

“Investment in locally available renewable energy generates more jobs, greater earnings, and higher output … than a continued reliance on imported fossil fuels. Economic impacts are maximized when an indigenous resource or technology can replace an imported fuel at a reasonable price and when a large percentage of inputs can be purchased in the state.” says the Wisconsin Energy Bureau.

With these factors in mind, it seems that renewable energy sources will not only benefit our carbon footprint, but will also have positive impacts for the UK’s economy. Perhaps why YouGov has shown that almost 9 in 10 people in the UK want a higher dependence on clean domestic energy.


Safiya Bashir 07/12/2015




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Safiya focuses on business and political stories for UK Investor Magazine. Her interests include international development, travel and politics.