The UK’s Clean Growth Sectors

Clean growth sits at the heart of the UKs industrial strategy and ensures our progressive decarbonisation plans, skilled workforce, R&D clusters and links with some of the world’s top universities deliver climate-friendly solutions across all industries, across the whole supply chain. 

On 18 November 2020, the Prime Minister announced a 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, mobilising £12 billion of government investment, spurring up to three times as much private investment by 2030.  

Covering clean energy, transport, nature and innovative technologies, the blueprint will also create and support up to 250,000 jobs.

This is a year of opportunity for UK and European companies to grow their business and accelerate the transition across Europe. Discover opportunities near you.

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Offshore wind

Offshore Wind

The UK is the world’s largest market for offshore wind (34% of global capacity) and is ranked as Europe’s leading market for investment in the sector. The target of 40GW by 2030 includes 1GW of floating offshore wind as an emerging technology.   

It is home to the world’s largest offshore windfarm (Hornsea One, with 1.2GW of installed capacity).  
The UK has an experienced offshore wind supply chain with particular strengths in wind farm design and surveying, installation and subsea engineering/robotics, supply of array cables, offshore substations, foundations and blades, and offshore asset management, operations and maintenance. 
The UK provides leading research and innovation programmes through UKRI, Innovate UK, BEIS (e.g. the Energy Entrepreneur Fund and the Offshore wind innovation hub) and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.  

Commercial opportunities:   

  • Opportunities exist for further European investment in the UK supply chain including in towers and foundations and cable manufacturing  
  • Export opportunities to Europe include front end engineering services in the design and surveying of the project; array cables, blades, foundations and offshore substations supply; and operations and maintenance services.
  • There are ongoing leasing bids in Scotland and a recently announced leasing opportunity in the Celtic Sea. Learn more about this Offshore Wind Demonstration Programme here

Incentive mechanisms for UK and European companies: 

  • The UK Government is mobilising £160m to upgrade port and manufacturing infrastructure, which will support up to 60,000 green jobs in Renewable Energy. 
  • The effect of this will be enhanced through more stringent requirements for supply chains in the Contract for Difference auctions. 

Offshore wind

Smart Networks & Cities

Smart cities provide a commercial opportunity for companies who can harness technology and new business models to address the challenges of urbanisation. London has been declared the smartest city in the world and the UK continues to be a leader in designing and creating the cities of the future. UK cities like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham and Liverpool made it into the TOP 100 Smart Cities ranking and showcase UK`s strength in digital infrastructures, according to the seventh edition of the IESE Cities in Motion Index 2020.

By 2050, the domestic market for smart systems and flexibility solutions, including electric vehicle smart chargers and smart network equipment could contribute almost £1.3 billion to the UK’s economy, with exports of these products and services adding a further £2.7 billion.

Five reasons to invest in UK smart cities  

  • Access to a growing market  
  • Consumers receptive to technology  
  • High quality infrastructure  
  • A strong regulatory environment  
  • Support for Innovation  

Benefitting from the supportive environment in the UK  

  • the needs of smart cities around data, energy and transport link  with the UK’s Industrial Strategy which ensures long term government support. 
  • a trend towards more devolution of power to cities and locally elected mayors is increasing the role of the city. 
  • the emergence of more local strategies covering a mix of areas such as the economy, transport, housing and cultural are all placing smart infrastructure and services at their core. 
  • new legislation means UK law is adaptable to the quickly changing digital environment.

The DIT Europe Region is currently running a series of workshops with European cities and regions on greening public procurement. 

Smart Networks

The upgrading of UK energy networks fit for a Net Zero future is a £45bn investment opportunity. The Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan allows for new business to thrive by

  • Removing barriers to smart technologies
  • Enabling Smart homes and businesses 
  • Making markets work for flexibility

Download the UK Smart Cities Directory

Offshore wind

Mobility and electric vehicles

The UK car industry already manufactures a significant proportion of electric vehicles in Europe, including one of the most popular models in the world.   

The UK is where the world comes to innovate, with 7 out of 10 F1 teams based in the UK, and the home of Formula E and now Extreme E. 

The UK excels in low carbon propulsion (the lithium-on battery was invented at Oxford University), lightweight materials and structures, and connected and autonomous vehicles. 

To support the acceleration to Net Zero by 2050, the Prime Minister has announced the 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution on 18 November 2020:   

  • £1.3 billion to accelerate the rollout of chargepoints for electric vehicles in homes, streets and on motorways across England, so people can more easily and conveniently charge their cars.  
  • £582 million in grants for those buying zero or ultra-low emission vehicles to make them cheaper to buy and incentivise more people to make the transition.  
  • We have announced the first £500 million of funding, to be spent in the next four years for the development and industrialisation of electric vehicle supply chains.   

Offshore wind

Sustainable consumption

UK brands lead the way in creating the sustainable brands and packaging solutions that customers are increasingly demanding. From global fashion brands to biodegradable coffee capsules, packaging made of seaweed, sustainable farms and distilleries, the UK leads the way in sustainable solutions across supply chains, bridging tradition, craft and the most advanced technologies.

From digital smart packaging that is pioneering waste recycling solutions across the food and drink market the UK is a global creative hub with renowned universities dedicated to providing the most sustainable future-proofed consumer products.

Forward-thinking designs are sketched at the world’s first master degrees for sustainable fashion. Backed by DEFRA and the British Retail Consortium, Textiles 2030 is the new voluntary action plan to cut carbon by 40% + to align with 1.5°C global target, cut water by 30% and create and deliver a circular textiles roadmap for the UK.

Sustainable packaging is a key innovation strength for the UK in the global biodegradable plastic market, expected to reach $6bn by 2026.  The UK’s Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) aims to make 100% of plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

The UK is making significant steps in reducing its food waste: 2015-18 has seen a 7% reduction in food waste (480,000 tonnes), 7% reduction in GHG emissions (7.1 million tonnes CO2e) and collective action projects targeting water scarcity.

Sustainable Consumption
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