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A study of Scotland’s international competitiveness in the energy systems sector: final report


This report presents an assessment of Scotland's international competitiveness in the energy systems sector. It focuses on the capabilities and services that facilitate the integration, interoperability or enhancement of electricity, gas (including hydrogen) and heat networks through the introduction of new or improved technologies, services, or operational and commercial models. It profiles and maps over 170 companies identified by the research into four specific clusters of expertise: consultancy; ICT/Digital (including ICT, digital platforms, and sensors, controls, and security); engineering services; and power electronics.


The study used global market profiling to identify which markets could provide potential for Scottish capability, and the needs of the market. Multi-criteria analysis was used to develop a shortlist of countries for in-depth market analysis. A range of criteria was then used to identify both the need for energy systems development, and the wider suitability of the countries in terms of ease of trading and market potential. In addition to this, an in depth analysis of the shortlisted countries was then conducted, looking at the detailed technical needs for each country, the potential market size and routes to market, and the ease of trading.


The research found that although there was a limited energy systems capability in Scotland, there were extensive potential international opportunities where new markets could be exploited to help growth in the industry. Other key conclusions include that: energy systems represent a diverse and nebulous sector that requires segmentation; Scottish capability exists but is limited and focussed in certain areas; and entering global markets will be challenging and require careful focus. The key factors promoting market opportunities were identified as: growth in energy demand; changing sources of energy (in particular a shift from flexible fossil generation to intermittent renewable generation); increased resilience / security; and improved efficiency. It was also suggested that entering markets successfully will likely require a high degree of investment, local presence and deep market knowledge.


The report does not make any specific recommendations.

Author Delta Energy and Environment Ltd
Published Year 2017
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies
  • Internationalisation
    Internationalisation of Scottish businesses