Green growth outpaces rest of economy

25th May 2012

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  • Renewable



Sales of UK low-carbon environmental goods and services (LCEGS) grew 4.7% between 2009/10 and 2010/11, the second highest growth rate among the top 10 LCEGS countries and far outstripping the overall performance of the economy, which only increased by 0.7% in 2011.

The figures from the business department (BIS) reveal that UK sales of LCEGS totalled £122.2 billion in 2010/11, a £5.4 billion increase on the previous year. They also show a slight rise in the number of LCEGS companies in the UK, from 51,611 to 51,682, and a 2.8% increase in the number of people employed in the sector, from 914,273 in 2009/10 to 939,627. The growth in sales in 2010/11 follows an 8.6% rise over the previous two years.

The performance puts UK is sixth in the global LCEGS league table by value.

Growth was highest in the renewables industry, with biomass, geothermal, photovoltaic, wave and tidal and wind all enjoying 5% or more growth in 2010/11. Wind was the best performing industry, with growth of 7.2%, followed by the photovoltaic industry, which recorded a 6.3% rise in sales.

Across the other industries that make up the LCEGS sector, sales of carbon finance services increased by 6.7% and alternative fuels by 5.4%.

The data also highlights a positive balance between exports and imports of LCEGS. BIS reports that in 2010/11 the UK imported LCEGS worth £6.8 billion, while sales of exported goods and services totalled £11.8 billion.

The highest value exports are consistently alternative fuels, building technologies, photovoltaics, wind and water/ waste water, reports BIS. These five industries accounted for £6.9 billion in 2010/ 11 or 58% of all LCEGS exports. China is the number one destination for UK exports, accounting for 7% of all UK LCGES exported in 2010/11.

The business department forecasts further growth over the next four years, with sales expected to rise 4.9% in 2011/12, 5.1% in 2012/13, 5.3% in 2013/14 and 5.5% in 2014/15.
The report is available from the BIS website.


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