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Renewable energy industry

Research guide

Published: 12 Jun 2017 Updated: 07 Dec 2022 Update History

Exclusive content
Access to our exclusive resources is for specific groups of students, subscribers and members.

Use our industry guide to find key background information, market research, import and export guidelines, statistics, legislation, trade bodies and trade publications.

The Business & Industry Guides series is produced by the Library & Information Service for ICAEW members and ACA students.

We can compile tailored key players reports, mailing lists, market reports, benchmarking reports and industry news. Our enquiry team can also research other industry-specific information, such as taxation, for you. Call us on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or email library@icaew.com.

Guides are also available on the Offshore Wind and Biomass sectors.

Trends and forecasts


Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices
Quarterly report published by Ernst & Young giving scores for national renewable energy markets and infrastructure, including data for individual technologies and countries.

Energy Outlook
Annual publication from BP projecting long-term trends in energy production, trade and consumption around the world. The full report, individual region and country factsheets and Excel data tables are available to download.

Market research

Market research reports focusing on this business sector are available from a number of market research specialists. In most cases these reports are available to fee-paying subscribers or on a pay-as-you-go basis.

A full listing of reference products and research reports for the energy, utilities and recycling industry from Euromonitor, with a range of global, country and company level reports. Each report provides a contents listing and a useful executive summary reporting on the key trends in each country report.

Solar Power Europe
In-depth report Global market outlook for solar power 2022-2026 explores trends in different countries.

European Solar Thermal Iusndtry Federation (ESTIF)
The ESTIF publishes an annual analysis of European solar thermal markets. Solar Thermal Markets in Europe - Trends and Statistics 2015 was published in November 2016. A summary is available to download for free.

Business and industry research specialists offering reports on a wide range of sectors, including renewable energy. Report snapshots, table of contents and a sample report are available. The company also produces global industry research reports.

Report covering the UK renewable energy market. The website includes a summary and a contents listing.

Industry news

The Library can carry out industry news searches for ICAEW members and ACA students.

Statistics on the UK


RenewableUK (formerly known as the British Wind Energy Association) maintains the UK Wind Energy Database (UKWED), which gives statistics on the number of turbines, megawatts generated, homes equivalent and emissions reductions. Information on wind farm projects in operation, planned or under construction is also available.

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero compiles statistics on renewable energy, emissions projections and climate change within the Digest of UK Energy Statistics(DUKES).

Office for National Statistics

The Annual Business Survey (ABS) from the Office for National Statistics collects financial information covering UK production, construction, distribution and service industries. Statistics available include:

  • number of enterprises;
  • total turnover;
  • approximate gross value added at basic prices;
  • total purchases of goods, materials and services;
  • total employment costs;
  • total net capital expenditure;
  • total net capital expenditure – acquisitions;
  • total net capital expenditure – disposals;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at end of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at beginning of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – increase during year.

The dataset Non-financial business economy, UK: Sections A to S includes statistics for:

  • Manufacture of engines and turbines, except aircraft, vehicles and cycle engines (28.11)
    See Section C: Manufacturing
  • Production of electricity (35.11)
    See Section D: Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply

Statistics on Europe


Eurostat, the EU statistics hub, collates detailed Structural Business Statistics giving the latest figures for industry, construction, trade and services by sector and country. The indicators available include:

  • number of enterprises
  • turnover or gross premiums written
  • production value
  • value added at factor cost
  • gross operating surplus
  • wages and salaries
  • social security costs
  • gross investment in tangible goods
  • gross investment in land
  • gross investment in existing buildings and structures
  • gross investment in construction and alteration of buildings
  • gross investment in machinery and equipment
  • number of employees
  • number of persons employed per enterprise.

Statistics within the database are available for:

  • Manufacture of electric motors, generators, transformers and electricity distribution and control apparatus (C271)
  • Manufacture of engines and turbines, except aircraft, vehicles and cycle engines (C2811)
  • Electric power generation, transmission and distribution (D351)

See database section ‘SBS – industry and construction’.

Global statistics

Energy Institute

The Energy Institute produces an annual Statistical Review of World Energy containing detailed data on reserves, prices, trade, production and consumption of different energy sources broken down by country, region and sector. Historical data is also available to download. The report covers oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, hydroelectricity, renewable energy and primary energy.

International Energy Agency

The International Energy Agency (IEA) provides statistics on renewables and waste by country and region. Figures include:

  • gross electricity generation
  • gross heat production
  • domestic supply
  • transformation
  • energy industry own use
  • final consumption by sector.

The IEA also publishes several annual statistical reports on the sector, including Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report and Renewables Information. Each report contains detailed country-by-country data and analysis of historical and current market trends. They can be purchased from the OECD and IEA bookshop.


The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) collects and compiles industrial statistics known as INDSTAT, which give information on:

  • number of employees
  • number of establishments
  • output
  • value added
  • total wages and salaries.

Statistics by country are available for:

  • Electricity distribution & control apparatus (3120)

UN Industrial Commodity Statistics Database

The UN provides statistics on the quantity of goods produced by country in the Industrial Commodity Statistics Database.

Figures are available for:

  • Electrical energy (17)



The Office for National Statistics publication Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) includes average employment costs within this sector which can be found in Table 14. Average employment costs are provided for full-time employees, part-time employees and all employees.

The data includes average employment costs for:

  • managers in mining and energy;
  • science and technology professionals;
  • science and engineering technicians;
  • energy plant operatives.

The annual Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES), published by the Office for National Statistics, includes total employee and employment estimates for different industries for Great Britain and the UK. Figures are broken down to show full-time/part-time and public/private splits. The dataset Industry – Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES): Table 2 includes statistics for:

  • Manufacture of electric motors, generators, transformers and electricity distribution and control apparatus (271)
  • Manufacture of engines and turbines, except aircraft, vehicles and cycle engines (28110)
  • Electric power generation, transmission and distribution (351)

Other regions

Please see individual country profile pages for links to sources of national statistics.

Legislation and regulation


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a section on engineering, which includes latest regulations affecting this industry.

Generating low carbon electricity Policy paper from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on how low-carbon electricity is recognised and certified. Includes information for renewable electricity suppliers and generators. Published on 31 December 2020.

UK key players, ratios and trends

A range of reports on this sector are available to ICAEW members and ACA students via the Library.


Reports on this sector can be supplied by the Library to ICAEW members and ACA students.

UK benchmarking

The Library can supply benchmarking reports to ICAEW members and ACA students.

Trade bodies

Trade journals and publications

Trade journals, B2B magazines and specialist consumer magazines are another useful source of news and statistics.

Further resources

Energy industry guide: British Library
British Library industry guides provide listings of resources for industry-specific information, including print directories and materials held by the British Library.

Contact the British Library Business and IP Centre for more information.

Further reading

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post or email through our document supply service.

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