In this exclusive column, written especially for PES, Andrew Cahn, Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment, argues that Great Britain serves as an excellent springboard for renewables growth across the world.
The global energy sector currently represents one of the most exciting export opportunities for UK companies. UK energy companies already generate revenues of more than $130 billion from domestic and international business and employ 600,000 people. These statistics are expected to rise to a staggering $300 billion and one million employees by 2030. By this date it is estimated that more than $15 trillion a year will be spent supplying energy, with demand expected to rise by over 50% globally.
Of course, whilst we address the challenge of meeting growing demand for energy, we are also faced with the global issue of climate change. In the UK, our commitment to tackle climate change, including a reduction in emissions of 80% by 2050, is now legally binding, following last month’s Royal Assent of the Climate Change Bill.
The commitment to tackle carbon emissions entails a significant investment in renewable energy which is being replicated internationally. In fact, the global low-carbon energy industry may be worth $3 trillion per year by 2050, and for UK companies this represents a major commercial opportunity in growth markets as diverse as China, India, Middle East, Europe, North America, Africa, Canada, Russia, Kazakhstan, Venezuela and Brazil.