The Renewable Energy Association has welcomed plans from Labour MPs to create 300,000 new renewable energy jobs.

The organisation also highlighted the “extraordinary opportunity” the UK is facing within the renewable and clean tech industries.

The comments come after shadow secretary of state for energy and climate change Barry Gardiner pledged to ban fracking and focus on creating new renewable energy jobs, at the annual Labour Party conference yesterday.

Renewable Energy Association (REA) chief executive Nina Skorupska said: “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.

“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.”

The REA’s Review 2016 report outlines that there were nearly 117,000 employees in the renewable energy industry in 2014/15. This industry grew 6.6 per cent in 2014/15, up from 6.1 per cent the previous year which is twice the rate of the UK economy overall.  

New data released yesterday by the European Renewable Energies Federation forecasts up to 24 million new “energy citizens” in the UK by 2050. The report details that in 2015 in the UK there were over 1 million individuals, called “energy citizens” actively participating in the energy market (by directly making savings or introducing new revenue), either by the use of solar PV, wind, electric vehicles, e-boilers, or stationary energy storage.