More than 70 countries benefit from Scottish renewable energy

More than 70 countries across the world are benefiting from Scotland’s knowledge of renewable energy, a survey suggests.

Wind turbines are seen at Whitelees wind farm in East Kilbride. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Industry body Scottish Renewables found businesses have exported renewable energy goods or services to a total of 72 countries.

The most popular export destination was the US, with nine of the 15 Scottish headquartered businesses that responded to the survey exporting to America.

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This was followed by Canada, Germany, Ireland and Sweden, equally, with eight companies exporting to each country.

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Renewables exports to other countries include Afghanistan, Angola, Brazil, Fiji, Kazakhstan and Singapore.

More than half (57 per cent) of the Scottish headquartered firms responding to the survey said they were moving into new markets, with just under a third (29 per cent) considering doing so.

Among the exporters are renewable energy consultancyfirm Green Cat Renewables, based in Biggar, South Lanarkshire, which opened an office in Alberta, Canada, in 2017.

Technology developed by Glasgow software company Smarter Grid Solutions is being used in Germany, the US and Canada to enable utilities to integrate more renewable energy into electricity grids.

Scottish Renewables chief executive Claire Mack said: “Scotland’s stretching renewable energy targets and the calibre of our engineering skills, in particular, mean the world is watching, and the results of this latest survey show the impact of our industry is now truly being felt across the globe.

“Scottish green energy engineering skills are in demand from Canada to Taiwan while our environmental, planning and technical knowledge is being used in Nigeria, Norway and many other countries.

“Scotland’s renewable energy industry employs 17,700 people and had a turnover of £5.5 billion in 2017.

“These are some of the domestic impacts of our sector, but this study, and the real-life stories which sit behind it, show our impact is truly global and that the skills and products which are being developed in Scotland are having a positive effect far beyond our borders.”

Scotland’s energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Scotland has long been a byword for reliability and expertise in renewable energy advice and engineering matters - from the early days of hydro power development through to today’s world and its growing demand for innovative technical skills and knowledge.

“This survey underlines just how valuable Scottish energy businesses are perceived to be around the world, and the premium placed on their advice and support by countries from Bulgaria to Yemen.

“I want to see more Scottish companies grown in this way - to develop a globally competitive and successful supply chain, as well as getting increasing business activity from energy developments around Scotland.”

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