RenewableUK spotlights global reach of UK renewables

PLAT-O tidal platform (Photo: Sustainable Marine Energy)

 
RenewableUK has released a report on the global export reach of the UK-based companies working in the wind, wave and tidal energy sectors.

The report titled ‘Export Nation: A Year in UK Wind, Wave and Tidal Exports’ found that in 2016, an illustrative sample of 36 UK-based firms featured in the report signed more than 500 contracts to work on renewable energy projects in 43 countries across the globe.

The contracts featured in the report ranged in value from £50,000 up to £30 million each, according to the UK’s trade body for wind, wave and tidal industries, RenewableUK.

The diverse reach of the contracts indicates that the UK is well placed to benefit from the $290 billion global renewables market, trading with countries inside and outside the EU, RenewableUK said.

Among others, projects featured in the report include those from Edinburgh-based tidal energy developer Sustainable Marine Energy, which is making tidal turbine platforms for Singapore.

Also, UK’s wave and tidal testing centers – Wave Hub, off Cornwall; and the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney – are highlighted as the destinations of choice for global companies testing full-size devices in real sea conditions.

The UK is exporting its knowledge too, according to the report, with renewable energy consultancy firms in places such as Bristol, Newcastle, Colchester and Winchester, winning contracts to plan and oversee the development of wind farms and other renewable energy projects in dozens of countries worldwide.

Emma Pinchbeck, RenewableUK’s Executive Director, said: “The UK’s wind, wave and tidal energy exports are great British success stories on the international stage. Our businesses are securing hundreds of contracts, worth millions of pounds, across six continents. Our leadership in this $290 billion renewables marketplace will be even more important as we leave the EU.

“We need to act swiftly to retain this competitive advantage or other nations will capitalize on the hard work our businesses have done to build opportunities. This year, as part of its Industrial Strategy, the government will be looking to identify and support world-leading, innovative industries with global trade potential.

“This report shows that the UK’s wind and marine energy sectors can offer much to the government’s Industrial Strategy. Britain must secure its position as a leading exporter in tomorrow’s global energy market.”

Renewable UK noted that the purpose of this study was to begin to assess the extent of export activity among UK-based wind, wave and tidal energy companies, and that the actual number of UK companies exporting, and the number of contracts signed, will be higher as the sample represents less than 10% of RenewableUK’s membership.

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