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Energy production and clean power: diversifying to drive transition

Last updated 11 November 2021

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The UK has the knowledge, expertise, and capability to satisfy the demand for clean energy.

Here are just some of the areas in which the UK excels:

Wind (offshore and floating offshore)

Being an island nation has helped place us at the forefront of fixed bottom offshore wind-driven energy generation.

A position we are using to great advantage both at home and around the world.

The experience and skills found in the UK have attracted and continues to attract business from international markets.

Exports that not only provide the hardware and related services, but also the help needed to industrialise the customers’ supply chains.

We have a very powerful development offer, with many consultancies providing services ranging from engineering to environmental specialisms.

We also have strong capabilities in adjacent areas such as naval architecture, finance, insurance and legal services.

If your business offers one or more of these services or could benefit from using them, get in touch with us and we’ll help you make the most of the export opportunities that may be open to you.

Nuclear energy

The UK nuclear industry provides major benefits to nuclear programmes around the world.

Its offering encompasses everything from new build and decommissioning to fuel services and the development of next generation nuclear technologies.

It contributes across the whole of the nuclear life cycle, from cutting edge R&D for advanced nuclear technologies to licensing and planning for new build design and construction, all the way through to waste management, decommissioning and disposal.

We are also a key provider of commercial services to the nuclear sector and have an internationally respected nuclear regulator in the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency (EA).

Waste to value

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The waste to value sector covers a range of processes and technologies that that can address all types of waste ranging from agricultural by-products to household refuse, to contribute to the generation of electricity, heat, and biofuels.

From designing and implementing relevant policy frameworks and incentivisation mechanisms, to the design, build and operation of at-scale facilities, the UK has extensive expertise across the entire waste to value chain.

Separate and effective collection systems and equipment form the starting point for sustainable waste management, followed by sorting, separating, and reprocessing of different materials for use in new products.

Organic and residual waste streams can be diverted to energy uses to displace fossil fuels and achieve overall negative carbon emissions.

We have valuable experience and proven expertise that extends into newer technologies and processes, including gasification and pyrolysis and energy from waste (EfW) with carbon capture, allowing for more efficient and environmentally friendly plants and less residual waste.

Hydro

A method of generating energy that harnesses the simple, natural flow of water – usually related to rivers.

We are strong in every link of the value chain in small scale hydro and pumped storage projects.

Taking on larger scale projects outside of a variety of consultancy and engineering activities, usually requires the involvement and co-operation of an appropriately sized developer or energy procurement construction company.

Coupled with UK Export Finance (UKEF) support, smaller scale hydro projects, particularly in developing markets, are an attractive proposition.

Solar power and CSP

The sun provides the cheapest form of renewable energy generation currently available.

Solar power and concentrated solar power (CSP) are both highly scalable, ranging from a single panel to fields of panels to form a grid-scale project.

The UK has several experienced solar developers that can deliver projects of all sizes, with expertise in niche panels and the design and integration of off-grid systems.

Onshore wind

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Using turbines built on land, this generating system takes advantage of the currents of air found around coastal areas or circulating around hills.

Besides providing hands-on, engineering-related services such as development, construction and operations and maintenance, the UK can also offer in-depth consultancy services that cover feasibility studies, design, and engineering.

The production of onshore wind turbines at the micro to small scale, as well as components for large scale turbines and ‘balance of plant’ items, such as cabling and substations, are among the strengths of organisations in the UK supply chain.

Like solar powered energy, onshore wind has reached subsidy-free commercial viability and there is a strong international supply chain.

Tidal

Wave and tidal machines harness the power of the waves (caused by wind) and the tides (caused by the moon and, to a lesser extent, the sun) to generate electricity.

The UK is a world leader in the development of this technology and has a strong history in its development.

There are 3 main types of tidal technologies:

  • Tidal barrage: involves building a dam across the width of a river/estuary to make use of the potential energy between high and low tides.
  • Tidal lagoon: similar to tidal barrage, but the dam walls form a loop from the shore, rather than across the width of the river, reducing the environmental impact.
  • Tidal stream: captures kinetic energy from the movement of tidal waters, using devices similar in concept to wind turbines. These are much smaller than barrage lagoon schemes, deployable as individual devices or as a series, with a smaller environmental footprint.

Several successful demonstrations have proven our capability in this technology. Coupled with our experience and expertise in engineering, design and delivery, tidal stream can offer an effective, clean energy solution.

Electricity networks and smart systems

‘Electricity networks’ is a broad term for the infrastructure that enables the flow of electricity from a generation source to an end user.

We have one of the most mature and sophisticated national grid systems in the world and through its long-term evolution, we have gained a wealth of experience in the design, delivery, operation, and maintenance of grid systems.

The regulatory framework, which emphasises and incentivises innovation, competition, and transparency, has led to the growth and deployment of a wide range of smart technologies and services, all with applications that can be scaled and applied globally.

The UK manufactures components for use on transmission and distribution networks and offers consultancy and delivery services along the entire value chain.

Along with experience and skills in more ‘traditional’ grid setups, we also have expertise in the design and delivery of ‘off-grid’ and ‘mini-grid’ systems, where small-scale distributed generation (e.g., roof-top solar) can be integrated with storage (e.g., batteries) to produce electrically self-sufficient systems.

Energy storage

With a well-established, highly reliable national grid coupled with the on-going implementation of a long-standing commitment to the increased use of renewable energy, the UK has all the skills and experience necessary to make electrical networks operate efficiently and effectively.

The UK also has a number of diverse technology providers (e.g., hydrogen, liquid air, etc.) and produces much of the required supporting equipment.

Big or small, if your business is involved in the clean production of energy, we can help you

Clean growth: energy production and clean power

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With the UK’s track record in the generation of sustainable clean power, we have an attractive export offering across a wide variety of clean energy production methods.

To find out how we could help your business to become a part of the UK’s drive to export clean energy production, visit Great.gov.uk.

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