This project will review the evidence on whether policy support for investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency leads to net job creation. It will consider whether policy driven expansion of specific low carbon sectors actually creates jobs, particularly if the policies in question require subsidies that are paid for through bills or taxes.

Employment and economic benefits are often used to support lobbying for investment in clean energy projects such as renewables, low carbon heating and energy. Such claims are often backed up by project or sector-specific analyses. Historically, other literature has been more sceptical, claiming that any intervention that raises costs in the energy sector will have an adverse impact on the economy as a whole.

This review will provide an update to the 2014 report on low carbon jobs, which examined the evidence for net job creation from policies encouraging investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy. The report examined if, how, to what extent, and under what conditions such policies lead to net job creation.

A significant change since this previous work is the rapid cost reduction for renewable energy technologies, and it is this change in the economic context that the project will explore.

Given the UK net zero emissions target and the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a pressing need to update this analysis. A key question is whether investment in the low carbon transition can be combined with, and facilitate, post-COVID-19 economic growth.

The overarching question which this project will address is:

What is the evidence that policy support for investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency leads to net job creation?

The approach to be adopted by the project team is described in more detail in the scoping note below.

TPA Green Jobs II Scoping Note_August 2020