A report published by RenewableUK shows for the first time that UK-based companies working in the wind, wave and tidal energy sectors are exporting goods and services worldwide on a massive scale. The report, 'Export Nation: A Year in UK Wind, Wave and Tidal Exports' reveals that in 2016, an illustrative sample of 36 UK-based firms featured in the report signed more than 500 contracts — ranging in value from £50,000 to £30m each — to work on renewable energy projects in 43 countries in Africa, Asia, North America, South America, Europe and Australasia.
This is the first time that the industry has assessed the extent of Britain’s global reach in these innovative technologies, and the wide range of products and services we sell overseas, says the organisation. The diverse reach of the contracts indicates that the UK is well placed to benefit from the $290bn global renewables market, trading with countries inside and outside the EU.
Projects featured include:
- Gaia-Wind in Glasgow, which is exporting small onshore wind turbines as far afield as Tonga
- JDR Cables, which is manufacturing massive subsea power cables in Hartlepool for German offshore wind farms
- Sustainable Marine Energy in Edinburgh, which is making tidal turbine platforms for Singapore
The UK’s world-leading wave and tidal testing centres off the coasts of Cornwall and Orkney are highlighted as the destinations of choice for global companies testing full-size devices in real sea conditions. And the UK is exporting its knowledge too, 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 countries including the USA, China, India, Chile, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan and Mauritius.
“The UK’s wind, wave and tidal energy exports are great British success stories on the international stage," said RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck. "Our businesses are securing hundreds of contracts, worth millions of pounds, across six continents. Our leadership in this $290bn 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 capitalise 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."
This new study is being released tomorrow — in the same week as the Global Wind Energy Council’s annual report which will highlight developments in the international wind energy market, offering further opportunities for British exporters.