The UK renewable energy sector has witnessed a massive increase in its exports last year, providing goods and services for wind, tidal and wave energy projects across the world.

A report published by RenewableUK showed that a sample of 36 UK-based firms signed over 500 contracts for overseas renewable energy projects.

According to the report titled ‘Export Nation: A Year in UK Wind, Wave and Tidal Exports,' the companies secured contracts from  more than 43 countries in Africa, Asia, North America, South America, Europe and Australasia. The value of each of the contracts ranged between £50,000 and £30 million.

The report stated that the industry has identified for the first time the potential of UK in reaching out to global clean energy consumers through its innovative technologies, products and services.

Taking into account the diverse reach of the contracts, the UK is expected to benefit from the $290bn global renewables market.

The report featured some of the projects, which included Gaia-Wind in Glasgow which exported small onshore wind turbines to Tonga, JDR Cables, which is producing massive subsea powr 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 wave and tidal testing centres at Conrwall and Orkney have also been mentioned as destinations for choice for companies that want to test full-size devices in real sea conditions.

Besides exporting goods and services, the report said that the UK is also exporting knowledge with renewable energy consultancy firms in Bristol, Newcastle, Colchester and Winchester. These companies have won contracts to plan and oversee the development of wind farms and other renewable energy projects in dozens of countries including the US, China, India, Chile, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan and Mauritius.

RenewableUK’s executive director Emma Pinchbeck said: “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.   

“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.”  

Image: UK firms exporting renewable energy products and services globally. Photo: Courtesy of of kongsky/