Lynn Grieve, Scottish Development International’s Global Head of Trade for the Energy & Low Carbon Transition, explains how the transition to a Net Zero future is creating a wealth of international opportunities for Scottish businesses working across the energy supply chain and beyond.

The growing global demand for renewable energy is not only helping us accelerate towards a net zero future, it’s creating new and exciting business opportunities across a range of emerging green energy markets, both here in Scotland and across the world.

Green Energy covers the high-priority renewable energies – hydrogen, offshore wind, green heat and decarbonisation of transport – as well as other energy technologies that will play a part in delivering a net zero energy future (including wave and tidal energies, CCUS and the lower carbon option offered by sustainable aviation fuel).

Taking advantage of these emerging markets has the potential to transform Scotland’s economy and lead to new investment and jobs across a range of services and products, meaning new markets and increased revenues for businesses.

At Scottish Development International, the international arm of Scottish Enterprise, we are focussed on raising awareness of the international opportunities and supporting companies across the Scottish supply chain to achieve their growth ambitions in the energy transition markets, building on Scotland’s reputation for innovation and quality as a key player in the energy and low carbon technologies industries.

Our goal is to work closely with those companies already involved in the energy sectors, and to attract new companies to the supply chain and encourage new technology start-ups to join the sector.

Whether a company is new to international trade, or is already exporting and seeking to expand into new international markets, there is a wide range of support available. Our guidance and support covers all aspects of exporting and includes international market research, strategic planning, export finance, access to new and emerging market opportunities, export related funding, sector specific trade support, trade missions, market entry and knowledge building around moving goods across borders. The support comes in various forms including tailored one-to-one support, programme and workshop activity and digital self-serve.

We support companies to capitalise on the knowledge, experience, connections and international supply chain opportunities identified by our network of trade specialists in over 26 international markets.

And this is something that we’re good at. Our trade results for 2022/23 show that we have £1.73bn of planned international sales over the next three years, while last year there were almost 5,000 instances of trade assistance to companies across Scotland. In addition, we helped Scottish firms enter more than 300 new markets and more than 900 companies received trade support.

The success we’ve achieved in the last year is a testament to the growth ambitions and international mindset of Scotland’s business base. However, we want to achieve even more success moving forward.

We know that some companies may not yet be aware of the huge international opportunities that are available now, over and above what’s going on domestically. It’s my hope that Scottish supply chain companies that haven’t embarked on the transition journey yet will reach out to our team of experts in order to learn more about these new market opportunities and how they can diversify into them.

While we wait for Scotwind to come onstream, our Scottish supply chain firms can secure global contracts. That will let them develop relationships with firms who will be the Tier One suppliers and developers for Scotwind and potential domestic hydrogen projects in the future. Making those international contacts now will put them in a far stronger position going forward.

There is a huge amount to be excited about over the energy transition and the journey to a net zero future.

We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform our energy industries and supply chains, and our team is fully committed to promoting Scotland’s capabilities to the rest of the world.

If you are interested in finding out more about the emerging cross-sectoral international opportunities in energy transition, please find out more at: