New figures released by the European Commission as an update on countries’ performance against renewable energy targets by 2020 suggest around 12,000 jobs will be created across the UK through renewables investment announced in 2011.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has released new figures outlining significant investment in renewable energy projects during fiscal year 2012. The new data indicates that with three months still to go until the end of this fiscal year, companies have announced plans for almost £2.5bn of investment in renewable energy projects.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne believes that renewable energy projects are not only important to reduce UK’s carbon emissions but also to stimulate economic growth and create jobs.

Mr Huhne said: “Renewable energy is not just helping us increase our energy security and reduce our emissions; it is supporting jobs and growth across the country, and giving traditional industrial heartlands the opportunity to thrive again.”

The figures for the UK show the country has increased its renewable energy consumption 27 per cent from 42.6TWh in 2008 compared to 54TWh in 2010.

However, this is still a long way of the 15 per cent target imposed by the EU for 2020. The report also showed that wind generation rose 46 per cent from 7TWh in 2008 compared to 10.2TWh in 2010.

Insisting on UK’s commitment to meet renewable energy targets set by the EU, Mr Huhne highlighted the importance of renewables for the economy and businesses in the UK.

“Our renewable target is less demanding than other EU member states, but the effect is bringing real jobs and investment,” said the Energy Secretary. “I do not want the UK to be left behind by turning our back on the green economy. The agreement to negotiate a global deal secured at Durban has reinforced major nations’ commitment to cutting carbon. We cannot afford to stand alone while the world wises up.”

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