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New Report Highlights Largest Markets for U.S. Renewable Energy Exports

Friday, March 14, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

A report issued March 12 by the International Trade Administration states that Canada, China, Brazil, Chile and Mexico, in that order, will be the top five markets for U.S. renewable energy exports during the next two years. Also placing high in the ranking of top markets are the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Peru, Belgium, the Philippines, the Netherlands and South Africa.

The report, which includes detailed market analysis of the renewable energy sectors of 10 different countries as well as snapshots of six renewable energy subsectors (wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, hydropower and renewable fuels), adds that the wind sector will overtake the solar sector as the largest exporter of U.S. renewable energy products. The report observes that this development is consistent with an oversupply of wind turbine manufacturing capacity and demonstrates the growing reliance on exports for the sector. The ITA projects the wind subsector to account for nearly 32% of total U.S. renewable energy exports through 2015, followed by ethanol with a 27% share, solar with a 19% share, hydropower with a 14% share, biomass pellets with a 7% share and geothermal with a 2% share.

The report also identifies key trends that are expected to have an impact on both the makeup of U.S. renewable energy exports through 2015 and the elements of an effective strategy for delivering exported products or services to international buyers. For example, exporters looking for customers in an important market like Canada where the U.S. already accounts for a large share of domestic renewable energy sales are likely to find considerable interest in their products or services and should focus on meeting as many potential buyers or partners as possible. Exporters looking at large foreign markets where the U.S. holds a small share of renewable energy sales such as China, Japan, the UK, India, Brazil and Italy must first understand if the lack of market share is due to competitiveness constraints or protectionist barriers. These exporters should then report any market access barriers to local DOC staff and find niche opportunities for products without protectionist policies in place.

In the case of small renewable energy markets where the U.S. has a large share of domestic sales such as Mexico and South Africa, exporters are advised to participate in market development activities and position their company early for when the market begins to develop.

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