Revealed: the competitive edge in net zero products that could lead UK out of decades of manufacturing decline - IPPR

The UK already has a clear competitive edge in making one in three key products needed for a future green economy, a new report has found – and it urges the government to use this ‘comparative advantage’ to reverse years of manufacturing decline.

The report identifies which growth industries the UK should focus on as part of a “pathfinding strategy” to build new economic and manufacturing strength in a net zero world. Its call has been backed by leading employers’ organisations MakeUK and the CBI.

Researchers used new analysis to determine specific areas of existing UK manufacturing expertise that they say should be used as a launchpad for green industrial growth – and also those that the UK is well-placed to exploit in future.

Among the green products most needed for a net zero economy, it focusses on those for which there is not enough domestic or global supply; those where the UK already has manufacturing advantages; and those to which the UK could most readily pivot, adapting from existing industries and building on existing skills.

Contrary to popular belief, the report finds that the UK has a current competitive edge in making a third of the 143 products needed in technologies to deliver net zero. These include products for monitoring, measuring and analysing, all crucial for the electricity grid, renewable energy generation and decarbonising industry. The UK is also strong at making electric trains and their parts, heat pump components, and turbines for geothermal or hydro electricity generation.

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Posted On: 15/05/2024

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