REview 2018: Concern as British renewable energy sector growth begins to cool

New industry report shows:

  • 2017 renewable share of electricity generation hits record 29.4% but
  • Concern as abrupt government policy changes see growth slow and 2900 renewable energy jobs lost in solar PV sector – more likely
  • Dramatic fall in solar PV installs as only 43,000 (1.4GW capacity) completed in 2016/17, down from 180,000 (3.2GW capacity) in 2015/16 (-76%)
  • 127,101 people now employed by the renewables sector, up just 0.9% on 2016
  • Brexit, closure of Feed-in-Tariffs and the Renewables Obligation unsettling market investors
  • The overall renewable energy sector as defined by the REA in 2016/17 has a market value of £17,913 million, with 6,651 companies employing just over 127,000 people and a further 17,750 in the growing storage and electric vehicle industry

The influential Renewable Energy View 2018 (REview 2018) report has been published today reflecting a mixed picture for the clean energy sector.

A record-breaking year for renewable energy generation saw 29.4% of all UK electricity generated by clean technology providers in 2017, an increase of 4.9% on 2016.

However, concerns have been raised that the high-growth experienced during the coalition government years are coming to an end as the government seeks to further the subsidies to nuclear whilst ending support for renewables.

Analysis commissioned by the Renewable Energy Association found that the UK economy could be missing out on 16,000 new jobs and over eleven billion pounds in additional income.

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE FEI, Chief Executive, Renewable Energy Association said:

“It’s been a Jekyll and Hyde year for the renewable energy industry, on the one hand we’ve seen record levels of clean energy pumped into the grid, powering nearly 30% of our business and domestic energy needs, but sadly also companies leaving the sector as the loss of government subsidies has shattered their business models.

“The next two or three years are crucial for our sector, the last year shows that wind, solar, biomass, battery storage, waste-to-energy, wave, tidal and the other new clean technologies entering the market can meet the UK’s energy needs, help us reach our climate targets, and create high-skilled British jobs in the process.

“2017 has seen the first coal-free days in the UK since the nineteenth century, prices tumble and renewables reach a record level of public support – we need to seize this moment to secure a truly fossil fuel free future, and I’m sure with the right government backing we can complete that historic shift to clean energy sooner rather than later.”


For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Mark Hofman
External Affairs Manager
+44 (0)20 7981 0862
[email protected]

Notes for editors

  • The link to the report can be found here:
  • REview 2018 will be launched at the REA’s ‘Shared Ambition: Advancing EU and UK Cooperation on Climate Targets’ conference on Thursday 28th June, which will examine both the status of renewable energy deployment and developing policy frameworks. Stakeholders from across industry and Government will come together to explore how a new climate relationship between the UK and the EU will develop post-Brexit, understanding how shared ambitions of decarbonisation and closer energy union will continue to be realised.

About the Renewable Energy Association (REA)

The Renewable Energy Association represents renewable energy producers and promotes the use of all forms of renewable energy in the UK across power, heat, transport and recycling. It is the largest renewable energy and clean technology (including energy storage and electric vehicles) trade association in the UK, with around 550 members, ranging from major multinationals to sole traders.