UK renewable energy firms are consistently signing multi-million pound export contracts, securing themselves a foothold in a fast-expanding global market worth $290bn a year.
That is the conclusion of a new study from trade body RenewableUK, which assesses the export activity of an illustrative sample of 36 of its members in the wind, wave, and tidal energy sector.
The report found the companies had collectively signed more than 500 contracts to work on renewable energy projects in 43 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, Australasia, and the Americas.
The contracts covered in the sample ranged in size from £50,000 to £30m and were generated by both manufacturing and consultancy companies from across the country.
For example, Sustainable Marine Energy in Edinburgh is manufacturing tidal turbine platforms for a project in Singapore, while JDR Cables in Hartlepool is working on infrastructure for German offshore wind farms.
The government-backed wave and tidal test centres off the coasts of Cornwall and Orkney are also said to be generating export opportunities by attracting firms from around the world to test their technologies in real world conditions.
The report, entitled ‘Export Nation: A Year in UK Wind, Wave and Tidal Exports’, comes just weeks after the latest official data from the Office for National Statistics revealed exports for the UK Low Carbon and Renewable Energy Economy topped £4.11bn in 2015.
RenewableUK’s executive director Emma Pinchbeck said the report confirms clean energy as a “great British success story”, but warned the UK must maintain its leadership position in the global renewables market post-Brexit.
“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,” she said in a statement. “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”.