“UK is seen as the go-to destination for expertise in renewable power”, says new report


UK-BASED onshore and offshore wind, wave and tidal energy companies are now exporting their products and services to 37 countries across 6 continents, according to a new report published today by RenewableUK.

Using an illustrative sample of companies involved in the sector, ‘Export Nation’ reveals that 47 UK firms signed 465 contracts worth up to £53m per company in the past year, working on hundreds of projects in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa and Australia.

Hugh McNeal, RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, said: “Renewable energy is providing us with opportunities to act as innovators and leaders in new industries on the world stage.

“We can capitalise on this even further in the decades ahead, generating billions for our economy, as well as showing global leadership on climate change. In offshore wind, for example, we’ve set a goal of growing our exports five-fold in the next decade.

“If we want to understand just how quickly the energy transition is happening, the fact the UK is selling onshore wind energy to Saudi Arabia is about as clear as it gets. Around the world, the UK is seen as the go-to destination for expertise in renewable power.”

Overall, UK exports of wind energy products and services are worth £525m a year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The new report reveals that current top ten export destinations for UK wind and marine energy companies are, in order of importance, Germany, Taiwan, Denmark, the USA, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, China, Ireland and South Korea.

Examples of companies cited in the report include:

  • Seajacks, based in Great Yarmouth, which won a contract to transport and install more than a hundred giant turbines at the Greater Changhua Offshore Wind Farm in Taiwan using its specialist vessels.
  • Cheshire-based 3D Web Technologies worked on a 3D computer model for the Bay State Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts, to help those involved to understand the American project’s layout better using virtual reality headsets.
  • Windhoist in North Ayrshire installed onshore wind farms in Europe, Africa and Australia.
  • Nova Innovation worked on innovative tidal energy projects in France and Canada.

Nearly 70% of the contracts were in the offshore wind sector. The companies featured in the report won offshore wind contracts in 15 countries across 4 continents. Germany is the most popular destination, followed in order by Taiwan, Denmark, the Netherlands and the USA.

The report also notes that, despite of the Government’s policies hindering onshore wind development domestically, the UK is exporting onshore wind products and services to 23 countries.

Similarly, while Government policy does not support the development of wave and tidal energy, we are still exporting marine energy products and expertise to 12 countries.

The survey reveals that the range of exports from the UK’s wind and marine is extraordinarily wide. UK firms are designing, building and maintaining wind farms onshore and offshore, as well as wave and tidal projects.

Exports from our domestic supply chain include manufacturing blades, supplying and installing UK-made power cables on land and underwater, fabricating specialist steel work, providing helicopters and crew transfer vessels, producing software to maximise power generation, conducting geological surveys, monitoring wildlife and providing legal and financial services.