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UK renewables industry sees massive export boom

Words: Huw Morris

UK renewable energy companies secured billions of pounds of exports for their goods and services last year.

Research by RenewableUK found 36 firms signed more than 500 contracts on projects in 43 countries across Africa, Asia, North America, South America, Europe and Australasia. The contracts featured ranged from £50,000 up to £30 million each.

RenewableUK said UK firms are now taking a leading role in the growing global market for wind and marine power now valued at £290 billion.

Successful ventures 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’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. 

Renewable energy consultancies have also won contracts to plan and oversee the development of wind farms and other projects in countries including the USA, China, India, Chile, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Mauritius.

“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,” said RenewableUK executive director Emma Pinchbeck.

“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 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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