Green sector now a major player in Welsh economy
30 August 2012
A new report reveals that the Green Economy is now a major factor in delivering jobs and investment into Wales and holds the key to economic recovery, according to conservation body WWF Cymru.
The report, UK Success Story by environmental think tank Green Alliance, shows that the UK’s green economy has shown true recession resilience, growing healthily since the banking crisis. It predicts that the general economy will only return to 2007 levels by 2014 at the earliest, but the green economy will grow by 40% in that same period.
In Wales, the report reveals the astonishing success of the green sector in delivering jobs and investment:
- There are now more low carbon and environmental jobs (41,506) in Wales than in motor trades (21,500), financial services (27,800) and telecommunications (6,600)
- Renewable energy is becoming an economic powerhouse in Wales. In the 2011-12 financial year alone Wales saw £443m of investment and 1299 jobs created in the sector, as renewable energy capacity in Wales grew by over a third between 2007 and 2010
- Within the Green Economy in Wales, the three sectors with the highest sales in 2010-11 were building technologies (£817m), water supply and waste water treatment (£628m) and geothermal (637m)
“This report shows it’s becoming easier to attract private investment into low carbon projects and we’re seeing signs of that in Wales with companies and investors taking advantage of the resilience and potential of the green sector.
“It’s clear that future of jobs and prosperity in Wales lies in the green economy – which is now a major source of jobs and enterprise. We should celebrate the excellent work being done by companies throughout Wales and build on their success to deliver an economic recovery.”
One example of the thriving green economy in Wales is Cardiff firm G24i3, which makes a new type of ‘energy harvesting film’. The film converts light into electricity to power appliances even in low light conditions such as indoors.
The firm’s latest success is the use of its technology in powering a bluetooth keyboard for tablet computers4. The Logitech product has already shipped 100,000 units.
G24i has installed a 120 metre high wind turbine to manufacture their revolutionary energy harvesting film and is possibly the first company in the world to manufacture a renewable energy product using only renewable energy.
Company spokesperson Richard Costello said:
“Because G24i’s energy harvesting technology is challenging product designers and consumers to think differently about power, we wanted to do so ourselves. By manufacturing energy harvesting cells with wind power, it is hoped that we will inspire a new generation of sustainable businesses in Wales and beyond. This report shows that Wales’ future prosperity relies on green companies like ours and we’re grateful for the support we’ve had from the Welsh Government.”
Peter Davies, Commissioner for Sustainable Futures, said:
"The ‘low carbon environmental goods and services’ sector represents the heart of the green economy. This sector is the source of the clean energy and low carbon innovation which will drive transformation across the wider economy.
"This sector is not in recession, with the UK outperforming the global average growth. We now need to make sure that Wales can outperform the rest of the UK.”