Report: Wind Is UK’s Major Export

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.

“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 to work on renewable energy projects in 43 countries in Africa, Asia, North America, South America, Europe and Australasia. The contracts featured ranged in value from GBP 50,000 up to GBP 30 million each.

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

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; and Sustainable Marine Energy in Edinburgh, which is making tidal turbine platforms for Singapore.

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 dozens of 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. 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,”  RenewableUK’s Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck said.

“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.”

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