Yorkshire set for 150,000 green energy jobs bonanza

More than 150,000 green energy jobs are set to be created in Yorkshire over the next 30 years with civic leaders claiming that the move to net zero emissions could drag the UK out of the coronavirus slump.

Data published today by the Local Government Association (LGA) shows that 420,000 direct jobs could be created across the North of England in low-carbon and renewable energy sectors by 2050 as the nation moves towards a green economy.

Analysis of these figures by The Yorkshire Post shows that 158,058 of these jobs would be created in Yorkshire, with the cities of Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Wakefield and Bradford the principal beneficiaries.

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In Leeds it claims nearly 34,000 jobs will be created, followed by 13,000 in Sheffield, 12,000 in Bradford and more than 11,000 in Hull, Wakefield and Selby.

Siemens factory in Salt End.

Hull, with its strong offshore wind turbine manufacturing base, is predicted to lead nationally on offshore wind, with Leeds predicted to be a major player on clean energy and low carbon heat.

Many of these roles are set to be created by the end of the decade with the LGA claiming that the sector can help lead the UK’s economic recovery.

The Government is committed to making the UK have net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and the data, published in the LGA’s Local green jobs – accelerating a sustainable economic recovery report, claims that demand for green jobs will rapidly increase as the nation transitions to a net zero economy and will help to counter the unprecedented job losses due to coronavirus which are likely to increase further when furlough ends from October.

It further claims the benefits will be felt nationwide with forecasts for the creation of an estimated 693,628 total low-carbon jobs in England by 2030, rising by a further 488,569 by 2050, taking the total level of jobs to more than 1.18 million by 2050.

Drax Power Station

Yorkshire is also expected to create the greatest number of jobs to construct, install and maintain Carbon Capture and Storage plants, with Selby and Leeds to be the main drivers of this.

The LGA said the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis are likely to be felt in our communities for some time to come and that soaring demand for green jobs will require a diverse range of skills and expertise to roll-out clean technologies.

Therefore the LGA is urging Government to improve what it called “uncoordinated and limited funding streams” by engaging with councils to understand how new funding for skills can be devolved to better meet and respond to local need.

Councillor Sir Richard Leese, Chair of the LGA’s City Regions Board, said: “Demand for green jobs is due to sky-rocket as we move towards a net zero economy and local government, with its local knowledge and expertise, is best placed to ensure the workforce in every region of the country can successfully surf the new wave of employment opportunities.

Drax

"Localising and devolving skills investment, back to work support and any job guarantee will be critical to ensuring everyone benefits from new local jobs, including these one million new low carbon jobs.

“To help meet national climate change targets and capitalise on the green jobs revolution, councils need to be given long-term funding, devolved powers and easier access to complex government funding pots to help realise the Government’s target of being carbon neutral by 2050.”