UK's Thriving Low-Carbon Sector Offers Attractive Market Opportunities

Recent study confirms UK's low-carbon market growth outpaces global rate

LOS ANGELES (August 9, 2011) – The United Kingdom is increasing its share in the global low-carbon marketplace and is expanding its sustainable-based economy faster than the global growth rate. The UK's low-carbon and environmental goods industry – now the sixth largest market in the world – grew 4.3 percent in 2009-10, exceeding the 3.1 percent increase occurring globally, according to a recently released study by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.


"The UK's long-term transition to a low-carbon economy is becoming a reality today," said Michael Rosenfeld, UK Trade & Investment, Vice Consul – USA Clean Technology Sector. "There is enormous potential in the UK right now for overseas clean technology and renewable energy businesses."

The study predicts that sales within the low-carbon sector are on pace to increase by between 4 and 6 percent a year through to 2016-17, partly due to growing demand for renewable energy sources. For example, recent European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) reports forecast that the UK will increase its wind power capacity five-fold by 2020 – the UK is already the global leader in offshore wind with 1.3 GW of installed capacity.

The UK's low-carbon economy currently is driven largely by alternative energy such as wind power, as well as implementation of electric vehicles and sustainable building and energy efficiency practices.

"Its supportive government policies are a vital factor in making the UK a very attractive marketplace for companies like G24 Innovations to do business," said Robert Hertzberg, an American businessman who chose Cardiff, Wales as the headquarters of G24 Innovations, the first company to commercialize and manufacture dye-sensitized PV solar cells. "The UK has shown that it is committed to becoming an engine of change in the green business sector, as well as in energy efficiency and carbon management initiatives."

The UK's Renewables Obligation (RO) requires electricity providers to source more than 15 percent of power from renewable sources by 2015, a program that already has helped more than triple the UK's eligible renewable electricity generation since its launch in 2002.

The UK government on Friday also shared a timeline for its regulatory action to demonstrate how businesses and the public sector can collaborate, as well as identify 10 specific commitments to supporting a low-carbon economy, including promoting international action, passing environmental regulation that minimizes business risk and attracting investment in infrastructure.

Also, the UK government unveiled plans to cut carbon emissions in half by 2027 (based on 1990 levels), reinforcing the UK's ambitions to be a global hub for low-carbon business growth.

North American renewable energy and clean technology companies interested in learning more about business opportunities in the United Kingdom are encouraged to contact Michael Rosenfeld, UK Trade & Investment, Vice Consul – USA Clean Technology Sector at (310) 481 2986 or Mike.Rosenfeld@fco.gov.uk.

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About UK Trade & Investment

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the British Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK's economy – acknowledged as Europe's best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit www.ukti.gov.uk or telephone +44 (0)20 7215 8000. For latest press releases, visit the online newsroom at www.ukti.gov.uk/media.

You can also keep in touch with developments at UKTI through www.blog.ukti.gov.uk, its Twitter account @UKTI_cleantech and www.flickr.com/photos/tags/ukti.

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