Belfast companies discover commercial opportunities in renewable energy

Belfast businesses discovered how they can capitalise on the multi-billion pound global renewable energy market at recent Invest Northern Ireland workshops.

Workshops held in Ballymena, Hillsborough and Belfast were attended by around 150  businesses from across Northern Ireland. Each event focused on a specific area of renewable energy and ways in which companies here can succeed in this growth sector.

Expert speakers outlined the significant demand for wind, marine and bio-energy technologies right across the world and the resultant opportunities that exist for local companies to supply a diverse range of product and service solutions.

Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Technology and Process Development, said: “Despite the current economic difficulties, global spend on renewables is increasing year on year, driven by the need to manage energy costs and security of supply, as well as the challenging carbon emission targets set by many governments.

“The design, installation and ongoing operation and maintenance of renewable energy plant require the input of many disciplines, from heavy and electrical engineering to advanced materials and logistics. Many local companies have a wealth of experience and talent in these areas and are well positioned to diversify into renewables.”

Ms Hill continued: “These workshops provided a valuable opportunity for local firms to network, share ideas and learn more about how they can get involved for the first time or build on their current market presence. One excellent way to compete with what are often large multinationals is for companies with complementary capabilities and services to collaborate and offer complete solutions for specific industry sectors.

“A number of local companies have already adopted this approach through their participation, along with a number of international partners, in the Global Wind Alliance. Invest NI can help businesses identify potential opportunities for collaboration, both with other companies and with academic and research institutions, which can help maximise their ability to bid for major contracts.

“Invest NI also offers a range of financial and advisory support to help businesses attend major international trade shows and take forward projects in areas such as R&D, skills development and marketing, all of which can boost commercial capability in renewables.”