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ONS launches new survey to measure UK ‘green economy’

04 February 2015

How many UK businesses are involved in the production of low carbon and renewable energy and how much does the sector contribute to the economy as a whole?

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is launching a major new survey that will assess the value of the ‘green economy’.

The Low Carbon and Renewable Energy Economic Survey is part of ONS’s work to value areas of the economy not captured by traditional indicators. Its findings can help to inform policies on jobs, growth and investment.

“The use of green energy is rising and is now around six times higher than it was two decades ago," says Glenn Everett, Director of the Measuring National Well-being programme. "ONS’s mission is to create the most comprehensive picture of the UK economy, so it’s important to measure the impact this growing sector is having.”

In 2012, 9.6 Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) of energy was consumed from renewable and waste sources, 4.5 percent of total energy consumption in the UK. This has grown steadily from 1.3 Mtoe 1990.

The new survey has been welcomed by many involved in the environment sector, who say it will provide important information.

Will McDowall, from University College London's Energy Institute believes the new survey will provide much-needed, robust evidence on the strength, size and dynamics of Britain’s low-carbon and renewable energy sectors. "It will provide crucial insight into understanding how the UK economy is responding to the challenges of developing new, low-carbon and renewable energy industries," he adds.

The first survey will be sent out to 40,000 businesses across the UK covering a range of different types of businesses, including those involved in manufacturing, energy production, construction and waste collection. The surveys will be sent out between 5-9 February, and ONS aims to produce its first statistics based on the results by the end of 2015.


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