There are increasing opportunities for suppliers of energy systems in international markets. These are being driven by several factors, including:

  • The improving performance and affordability of renewable energy systems (wind, solar PV and battery systems), and their ability to replace diesel generation, which is often found on islands and remote communities.
  • An increasing need for remote populations to have access to reliable and affordable energy supply, which is essential for economic progress.
  • The pressure to reduce carbon emissions and pollution from diesel systems – given greater impetus because of the higher exposure of islands to sea-level rise, storm damage and economic harm.

Scottish companies have experience in successfully developing, designing, installing and supplying equipment for renewable energy and energy systems projects around the world.


Many international development institutions (such as development banks), countries, islands and funders are looking to fund these projects – creating opportunities for products made in Scotland and services provided by Scottish companies. Members of the Sustainable Islands International programme team have engaged with funders to understand their objectives and identify opportunities that they are funding. If you have a project that needs funding, or are a funder looking for a supplier of services or equipment, then contact the programme delivery team.


We will make members aware of any published opportunities of relevance and we will liaise directly with funders to identify other opportunities that might appear.








UK Department for International Development (DFID)

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) is a major investor in programmes to increase energy access. The Transforming Energy Access (TEA) programme for Africa and South Asia is a 5-year programme with a budget £65million. TEA is structured around four themes:

  • Stimulating Technology Innovation by UK enterprises
  • Accelerating Enterprise-led Innovation in Technologies and Business Models
  • Supporting Clean Energy Partnerships
  • Developing Local Skills and Expertise

DFID also supports investment in renewable energy systems for UK overseas territories (e.g. St Helena and Pitcairn Island).

Department for International Trade (DIT)

Department for International Trade (DIT) helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. DIT helps overseas businesses to source UK products and services and connect with UK partners. UK companies can develop a profile which exposes them to international buyer. DIT also provides opportunities for international businesses with UK partners and suppliers through meet-the-buyer events, networking receptions, and product launches. DIT provides guidance on businesses looking to sell overseas. This includes export finance provided by UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK government’s credit agency, which helps companies in the UK to:

  • Win export contracts by providing attractive financing terms to their buyers
  • Fulfil orders by supporting working capital loans
  • Get paid by insuring against buyer default.

UKEF’s mission is to ensure that no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance, while operating at no net cost to the taxpayer.

World Bank

The World Bank has invested over $3.4 billion since 2000 in energy projects. There has been a sustained effort from the Bank, in recent years, to promote access to clean energy in remote areas of developing countries with the facilitation of infrastructure projects. The bulk of the Bank’s commitments in this regard have been in Asia, although there are numerous small scale programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Most of the small-scale projects promote solar PV as a source of generation – either as a standalone source or combined with other technologies – mostly because of the solar resource availability in Asia and Africa. There is also a limited number of projects involving the development of micro-hydro schemes, including in Ethiopia, Liberia, Nepal, and Pakistan. A few of the renewable energy infrastructure projects are still ongoing, which suggests that the Bank may look for expertise in renewable energy infrastructure in the very near future.

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is funding development of energy systems for islands in SE Asia and the Pacific, recent activity includes Fiji and the Marshall Islands. The Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Climate Change (REACH) Program was established in early 2002 as an umbrella program covering four bilateral trust funds targeted at clean energy and environment that are administered by the ADB.

Intra-American Aid Bank (IDB)

The Inter-American Foundation (IAF) is an independent agency of the United States government that funds development projects undertaken in Latin America and the Caribbean. Since beginning operations in 1972, the IAF has awarded 4,920 grants worth more than $665 million. They finance large-scale wind farms, solar PV systems for rural areas and biofuel facilities that co-generate electricity. IAF is also helping to retrofit hydroelectric facilities with more efficient turbines and ensuring that new dams and natural gas projects meet strict social and environmental standards.

Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) came into existence to contribute to the harmonious economic growth and development of the member countries in the Caribbean and promoting economic cooperation and integration among them. CDB and IDB presently collaborate on several initiatives, including in the areas of renewable energy and private sector development for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. For example, The Sustainable Energy Facility (SEF) for the Eastern Caribbean was launched in 2015 with a $71.5 million loan and grant package for Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Other examples include EU programmes for the Mediterranean Islands and initiatives led by Caricom for islands in the Caribbean. Members of the Sustainable Islands International project are informed of qualified funding and business opportunities via the cluster groups. In addition, the market intelligence on published project opportunities, contact details of in-country clients and information about local supporting agents will only be made available to the collaborating companies – further increasing the importance of membership.

Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s main economic development agency and a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government. They work with partners in the public and private sectors to identify and exploit the best opportunities to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy. Supporting renewable energy and low carbon technology is one of the Scottish government’s key priorities. They offer help to export to funding for innovation, from support to attract investment to help to increase efficiency.

The Scottish Enterprise offers some excellent services to help businesses trade successfully in international markets. A list of services can be located here.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is the Scottish Government’s economic and community development agency. HIE’s role is to develop sustainable economic growth across the region. For example, The Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) provides financial assistance for projects operating in marine energy, community owned renewables, and renewable district heating, although this list is not exhaustive. The Offshore Wind Expert Support Programme provides free advice and guidance on diversification activities that could help your company win future business in the offshore wind sector.

HIE offer international trade support to gaining access to overseas markets and helping business grow. Click here.

Scottish Development International

Scottish Development International (SDI) is the international arm of Scotland’s enterprise agencies. They can offer significant financial incentives and other assistance to help establish and grow businesses in Scotland and worldwide. Financial support includes SMART: SCOTLAND which provides grants to Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) based in Scotland. The grant helps companies undertake technical feasibility studies and research and development (R&D) projects that have a commercial endpoint. The Research and Development (R&D) Grant supports businesses developing new products, processes and services to improve company competitiveness and to benefit the Scottish economy. Through their investment arm, the Scottish Investment Bank, supports small and medium enterprises in attracting growth capital, often by co-investing alongside private investors.

SDI have trade advisers will provide impartial advice to help business make the most of the opportunities and support available.

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