UK energy firms urged to explore low-carbon sector

Paul Boughton
UK businesses are being urged to explore international opportunities in the low-carbon energy industry, set to be worth $3 trillion per year by 2050.

Speaking at London Oil Week, Samir Brikho, Chairman of UK Energy Excellence will highlighted how UK expertise in renewable technologies such as wind and wave, nuclear power and evolving carbon capture, as well as a strong skills base in the more traditional oil and gas sectors, can be deployed to drive the global development of low-carbon energy sources.

Brikho said: "Whilst the UK has proven expertise in many aspects of the energy industry, for example drilling and production, up until now it has been slow to invest in new technology development. As we look to accelerate the development and deployment of clean and sustainable energy and cost effective low-carbon technology, it is vital that we make the innovation process quicker and far more effective.

"We require a robust strategy for nurturing talent and creating a highly-skilled energy industry workforce. With both established and emerging markets poised to make major investments in new energy projects, we cannot afford to allow a skills gap to emerge. The UK has significant expertise in planning and project management and is well-placed to leverage these skills in both the construction and ongoing maintenance of new projects. Continuing to do this on a long-term basis again means taking action now, to ensure we have the human capital to meet growing global needs."

Andrew Cahn, Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment, added: "The global energy sector currently represents one of the most exciting export opportunities for UK companies. The UK is set to make major developments in its own energy infrastructure over the next decade and it is vital that we continue to attract inward investment, particularly in the fast-growing renewables sector. The UK Energy Excellence board is set to play a vital role in making this happen."

The demand for energy supply is expected to rise by 50 per cent globally by 2030, sparking investment in major infrastructure projects world-wide. By 2010, the total world environmental goods and services sector is expected to grow by more than 30 per cent to US$688 billion offering significant opportunities for UK companies in the new low-carbon economy.

UK Energy Excellence, a strategic programme launched in December 2007 by UK Trade & Investment to champion the UK's energy technologies around the world, is committed to addressing these challenges through partnership between industry and Government.

Samir Brikho, also Chief Executive of AMEC plc, was appointed Chair of UK Energy Excellence in May this year. The Board, which comprises leading energy experts from both the public and private sector, is tasked with demonstrating the UK's world-leading position in energy and keeping it ahead of international competition.

For more information, visit

Recent Issues