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ONS to measure UK green energy economy

A major survey to assess the number and value of UK businesses producing low-carbon or renewable energy has been launched by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The first questionnaire will be sent out between 5-9 February to 40,000 companies across the UK, including those involved in waste collection, manufacturing, energy production and construction.

The ONS aims to deliver statistics based on the results by the end of 2015.

The Low Carbon and Renewable Energy Economic Survey is part of the ONS’s wider aim to evaluate parts of the economy not covered by traditional indicators. It says the findings could help to inform policies on jobs, growth and investment.

The amount of energy produced from renewable and waste sources increased from 1.3 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 1990 to 9.6Mtoe in 2012. This was 4.5% of total energy consumption in the UK.

Glenn Everett, director of the Measuring National Well-being programme at the ONS, said: “The use of green energy is rising and is now around six times higher than it was two decades ago.

“The ONS’s mission is to create the most comprehensive picture of the UK economy, so it is important to measure the impact this growing sector is having.”

Will McDowall of University College London’s Energy Institute said: “This 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 these new industries.”

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