Opportunities in energyAlmost every country in the world is interested in environmentally friendly design and energy efficiency as when it comes to saving money nothing beats reducing energy use and using renewables, and most countries, like most people, want to save money. The UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey recently said that even a 10 per cent reduction of energy use in 2030 will mean five million tonnes of carbon dioxide is saved and £4billion is cut from bills. Alongside this the aim is for renewable energy to deliver between 30 and 45 per cent of the UK's energy by 2030.
So it's one of the biggest challenges of today's business - to create and use innovative technology that considerably reduces energy consumption. To this end there are huge opportunities for innovative UK companies if they are able to identify specific problems in specific markets and create the products that are needed.
The UK already exports around $30 billion of energy-related goods and services each year, a growing proportion of which is in the low carbon sector. One firm I have worked with recently, Guildford's Naked Energy, an award winning British design and innovation company specialising in solar technology and energy conservation, is developing 'Virtu', a revolutionary and patented hybrid solar panel that generates both electricity and heat for commercial and residential applications. Another firm, Carbon8 Systems, I spoke to recently have created a system to collect the waste CO2 from an agricultural process and use it to provide solutions for the treatment of industrial waste and contaminated soil.
Livestock Genetics, a Newbury-based independent consultancy in livestock breeding and genetics, is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with its specialist pig breeding programmes to reduce these emissions - as pigs produce between one third and one fifth the greenhouse gas emissions of cattle. They have already secured clients in Asia, Australia, Europe and South America.
There is a wide range of opportunities across the globe, however some countries are more focused on energy efficiency than others. In India there is a high demand for renewable energy: the sector has grown at an annual rate of 23 per cent. Wind energy, solar power, small hyrdo and biomass power are all growing sectors and they estimate the cleantech sector has the potential to generate 10 million jobs in India by 2025.
Australia is working to a 10-year national strategy on energy efficiency and there is a range of measures in place to transform the energy efficiency of buildings, both new and existing: the Australian Government is working with the states and territories to gradually phase out all inefficient incandescent light bulbs and are working to support renewable energy in industry development, reduce barriers to the national electricity market and provides community access to renewable energy.
Germany is the largest energy efficient market in Europe. By 2050 Germany expects a 25 per cent drop in electricity demand. Low carbon business opportunities in Brazil and South Korea stretch into billions of pounds. The UK and Brazil are working together on a range of global challenges: the need to secure a sustained global economic recovery, while, by 2030, providing at least 50 per cent more food, 45 per cent more energy, and 30 per cent more water without further damaging our environment.
In South Korea there are great low carbon opportunities as the Government has implemented an ambitious low carbon strategy committed to spending two per cent of GDP annually on the low carbon economy and they have set a target of a 30 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020. Korea is focused almost exclusively on reducing energy consumption through energy saving materials (primarily insulation) and active energy reduction systems.
To help firms drill into the energy opportunities overseas there are events taking place across the world such as the EUEC 2013 Energy, Utility and Environmental Conference and Exhibition in Phoenix Arizona from 27 January to 1 February 2013. UKTI has secured exhibition space and will be taking UK companies to this event. UKTI is also taking British companies to the popular International Environmental Technology Trade Show and Conference, The Americana 2013 in Montreal Canada from 19 to 21 March. And we will have a stand at WETEX Dubai from 15 to 17 April.
Closer to home UKTI will be encouraging companies to network at Sustainability Live from 16 to 18 April at the NEC in Birmingham. This is an important event in the UK energy calendar providing a comprehensive showcase of the latest products and services across the energy, water and energy from waste sectors.
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