A new report from the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and Innovas has revealed that the UK's £12.5 billion renewables industry already supports 110,000 jobs across the supply chain, and could support 400,000 by 2020.

The new report 'Renewable Energy: Made in Britain' was launched by Energy Minister Greg Barker, and is the first time that the turnover and employment figures of the entire UK renewables sector has been quantified in one place.

The report also found that the overall renewable market value increased by 11% from 2009/10 to 2010/11, compared with the overall economic growth of 1.4% during the same time period.

These findings came days after the European Commission identified the green economy as a key sector offering “important job creation potential”, with renewables alone claimed to provide up to 3 million jobs across the EU by 2020.

Launching the report, REA chief executive Gaynor Hartnell said: “Harnessing our renewables creates employment and means that rather than spending money on energy imports we can keep it circulating in the UK economy. Government needs to take steps to build the skills base and keep the UK on track to meet its renewables targets. When it comes to the employment, economic and energy challenges we face, the answer is clear - make it renewable and make it in Britain.”

Frances O’Grady, deputy general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said: “This report makes the strongest case yet to show that green opportunities, and the jobs the sector has the potential to create, can provide decent, highly-skilled employment to people whose jobs are being lost as a result of changes in the global economy. The government’s green challenge is now to do all it can to create the investment climate to generate the green jobs we need to meet our 2020 target.”

Keith Marshall OBE, chief executive of SummitSkills, one of the report’s sponsors, said: “High-quality skills are essential to making the growth of renewable energy a reality. The skills system is ready to respond – we just need the policy landscape completely joined up to drive demand for investment in training and upskilling. This report provides an essential building block to make this happen and we are pleased to be one of the sponsors.”