UK Export Finance signs MoU with ORE Catapult

By Dominic Ellis
Mou signed between UK Export Finance and ORE Catapult aims to propel UK renewables exports

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has signed an MoU with Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult to raise global trading opportunities for UK suppliers and propel UK renewables exports.

The UK is the world's biggest offshore wind market with 10.4GW of total installed capacity, and the UK government wants to target new, emerging markets. 

New data compiled by ORE Catapult reveals the UK offshore wind operations & maintenance (O&M) market will grow faster in relative terms than any other offshore wind sub sector market over the next decade. By 2O3O, it will be the UK’s second largest sub sector market after turbine supply and is projected to be a £1.3 billion per year opportunity.

ORE Catapult, which operates its National Renewable Energy Centre in the North East is a leading innovation centre for offshore renewable energy with expertise in accelerating offshore wind technologies and supporting clean growth. It develops new technologies to reduce the cost of offshore wind to help UK companies become more competitive.

As part of this cooperation agreement, which coincides with Global Wind Day, ORE Catapult and UKEF will raise awareness of support that can be provided to assist UK businesses in the renewable energy sector.

UKEF has also trained ORE Catapult employees to highlight the financial support UKEF can offer to benefit green SMEs. This training will enable ORE Catapult to raise awareness of the services UKEF offer to nearly 300 SMEs in the renewable energy sector they support.   

To support the UK’s plan for a Green Industrial Revolution UKEF is heavily focused on supporting green projects and can offer them favourable repayment terms. It also has in place a £2 billion direct lending facility dedicated to financing clean growth projects and an international network of trade finance experts focused on supporting UK renewable energy businesses.

Richard Simon-Lewis, UKEF Director & Head of Business Development, Marketing & Communications, said there is a strong pipeline of new opportunities in the renewable energy sector as economies adopt clean energy pathways where UKEF can offer their expertise. "We are uniquely placed to support the government’s ambition to grow clean energy as outlined in the recent 10 Point Plan and this agreement will help us tap into that potential on a more granular, regional basis and increase new business in cooperation with ORE Catapult," he said. 

Five companies operating in the North of Tyne region have been selected to showcase their innovative technologies to offshore wind industry giants Equinor and EDF Renewables as part of the Technology, Innovation and Green Growth for Offshore Renewables (TIGGOR) programme.

The successful companies – Transmission DynamicsKinewell EnergySMD, Trident Dynamics and Unasys – will receive a share of £1.7m in match funding made available through the first round of the TIGGOR programme’s technology demonstration strand, funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) as part of its wider Energy, Green Growth and Climate Change commitments. NTCA has partnered with the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, which is delivering the programme on its behalf.

North of Tyne Mayor, Jamie Driscoll, said the offshore wind sector is a major strength in the area and offers huge potential for 'green' jobs. "This partnership with ORE Catapult will develop the engineering applications to bring orders here. That means high skilled jobs on good wages and more career opportunities for our kids. Congratulations to the successful companies – it’s through partnership that we’ll get to a net-zero economy.”

A further two UK companies have been awarded a major opportunity to develop and demonstrate their innovative robotic solutions with GE Renewable Energy and the ORE Catapult.

Eleven-I and Innvotek have both successfully applied to a robotics innovation call, the latest in a series of challenge competitions through GE Renewable Energy and ORE Catapult’s ‘Stay Ashore’ research and development programme, delivered through the Offshore Wind Innovation Hub’s Innovation Exchange (OWiX) in partnership with KTN.

Turn to page 88 of the May issue to read more on ORE Catapult's Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) test site.


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