Europe hosts countless world-leading companies specialised in the manufacturing, operations and maintenance of technologies, equipment, devices, and services on the Green Energy Technologies market.
For European businesses, as innovative as they are, taking a leap to strong markets such as the Republic of Korea , South East Asia  or Japan  can be a massive challenge. For years now, these companies had a chance to participate in EU Gateway | Business Avenues missions organised throughout Asia with a unique goal: help them tackle the Asian Green Energy Technologies markets  and export their products and technologies.
Ten business missions with a focus on Green Energy Technologies have been organised since 2016 in the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
Let’s have a closer look at the results of those missions:
- 1783 expressions of interest were sent in by European companies willing to take part in 1 or more of the 10 missions, accounting for 27 EU Member States. Of these, 346 European participating companies attended one or more of the ten missions in Asia, representing 23 EU Member States.
- 6543 visitors went to see the EU pavilion in one of the ten missions, and nearly 3900 business meetings were set up by organisers before the start of the business mission weeks.
- Almost 4800 useful business meetings with local companies took place over the course of all the missions dedicated to this sector.
- The Green Energy Technologies sector also increased its pool of new talents. The new business generated by the first eight missions alone meant that over 1000 new jobs were created in Europe to fulfil the demand.
Growth has been possible for these companies, thanks to the new business partnerships made during the events. Over 120 companies were set to engage in further detailed discussions within a year after the missions and more than 100 were to engage in subsequent explanatory discussions with their newly formed connections in Asia. 89% of the responding* participating companies either established new business collaborations in the target markets or were expecting to establish new collaborations.
*Data based on 251 respondents out of 304 interviewed European companies.
EU-funded missions in Green Energy Technologies to Korea
The Republic of Korea’s governmental focus and interest in Green Energy Technologies made this market a strong option for companies active in the field. Renewable energy, currently less than 5% of the total power generation, is planned to increase to 11.7% by 2029 . The Republic of Korea also aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 37%  and to improve energy efficiency by 46% by 2030 and raise its electricity production by renewables to up to 35% of the total power generation  in 2040. The Republic of Korea plans to invest €90 billion  in renewable energy sources by 2030, especially in smart power grids and energy solutions for smart transportation.
After the implementation of the EU-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement  (FTA) in 2011, European exports to the Republic of Korea increased by almost 60%. Even if the Free Trade Agreement was already in place, securing a place on the Korean market could prove difficult.
To help overcome this hurdle, the EU Gateway | Business Avenues programme accompanied European companies, provided coaching, and helped set pre-arranged meetings with targeted potential partners.
The inaugural business mission targeting Green Energy Technologies took place in July 2016  in the Republic of Korea and was a hit. Right after this first business mission, Wello Oy , a high-technology company from Finland specialised in the production of wave energy converters, teamed up to collaborate with a Korean partner on the construction of a wave energy power plant. At the same business mission, Ecotricity , a UK based company that builds small wind turbines developed a collaborative relationship with Korea’s #1 integrated service provider, COENS.
Here are a few other testimonials from participant companies:
- It was almost like speed dating, one pre-arranged business meeting after the other, but I must say I’m really happy about these meetings. It’s been really well organized. – Mr. Antonio Mendes Nazare, VP Sales & Marketing Department, AQYLON  (France)
- It is our first experience with the Korean market so I would say it is more a discovery of the functioning of this market. It was a very enriching experience. – Ms Julia Oliveira, Marketing Department, 2ES  (France)
- Through the EU Gateway | Business Avenues programme, we gained a lot of insights from major players on the Korean electricity market. – Ms Kerstin Pienisch, International Business Development, Next Kraftwerke  (Germany)
For more video testimonials from the mission, check the playlist below:
Three other missions facilitating the matchmaking between selected European companies and the potential Korean partners ensued.
The second business mission focused on Green Energy Technologies took place in January 2018  where the services and products exhibited ranged from solar, wind, hydro, and tidal power to biogas technologies. The two exhibition days  have generated more than 600 business-to-business meetings.
IVEP, a Czech company with nearly 30 years of experience providing equipment and services in the power generation and distribution field, is a telling success story from the mission in Korea in 2018. The matchmaking process during the business mission was crucial for the acquisition of relevant connections. After this experience, IVEP was growing its operations  in Korea with the help or a local agent and a licensee.
We are now preparing to supply more than 200 pieces of railway switches and 150 pieces of electric drives (actuators) to operate the switch. We also work on other projects, including supplies for Korean EPC contractors for projects in third countries. – Marek Chladil, Managing Director, IVEP (Czech Republic)
A year later, in January 2019 , another EU-funded mission  offered the participants the chance to have their own booths, assigned interpreters, coaching sessions, and meet potential new partners  in Seoul.
At the latest business mission in February 2020 , nearly 50 suitable European companies were enrolled in the programme.
EU-funded missions in Green Energy Technologies to Japan
Japan is another key partner for European businesses as it is the 4th largest photovoltaic market in the world, and it has also deeply invested in the development of green solutions. The Japanese government pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by 26% by 2030  and by 80% by 2050 .
When it comes to the country of the rising sun, EU Gateway | Business Avenues organised its first market-scoping mission  in September 2017. A group of nearly 40 selected green energy-related companies participated in pre-arranged business meetings with potential Japanese clients with the backing and the support of the EU and had the opportunity to have built-up booths at World Smart Energy Week Osaka  2017.
While some of the companies  were active in energy management and IT, such as the supply and demand management of smart grids, others were involved in solar energy, wind power, energy storage, biomass, biogas, co-generation (combined heat and power), hydropower generation, and waste management.
Scottish company Smarter Grid Solutions , who boasts a range of products and services that enable utilities and developers to integrate Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and renewable resources to the grid, successfully established contact with renewable energy Japanese major actors at the exhibition.
The experience was very positive. EU Gateway | Business Avenues was very professional and well organised and I would definitely use them again as we also seek to develop relationships in other markets. - Alan Gooding, EVP - Channel and Partners, Smarter Grid Solutions (UK)
Croft Filters , a UK manufacturer with over 27 years of experience designing and manufacturing industrial filters, present at the same market-scoping mission in Japan, secured a deal with a partner, a filtration company from Osaka and was given the opportunity to distribute pioneering products in Japan.
The second EU Gateway | Business Avenues market-scoping mission in Japan included a 3-day exhibition  within the Grande Renewable Energy 2018 International Conference & Exhibition, and took place in June 2018 .
The third Green Energy Technologies market-scoping mission to Japan was held once more during the World Smart Energy Week Osaka event, in September 2019 , and came with top business opportunities  in wind, biomass, and geothermal power technologies for the nearly 40 participants.
EU-funded missions in Green Energy Technologies in South Easth Asia
In South East Asia, Indonesia is a market with vast opportunities in the sector of Green Energy Technologies as it aims to achieve 23% renewable energy use by 2025  and 31% by 2050 with investments of over €12.9 billion per year.
Malaysia plans to be a Green Energy Technology hub by 2030, when the industry is expected to reach a target contribution of €13 billion of the GDP . The focus is especially on the improvement of green transportation, electric vehicles, and solutions to convert waste into energy.
Singapore intends to reduce energy intensity by 35% by 2030  and is in need of companies with expertise in PV, solar energy, electric vehicle solutions, micro-grid solutions, green building technologies, and fuel cell technologies.
EU Gateway | Business Avenues organised three business missions to South East Asia where the companies could meet strategic stakeholders from several countries during the same business mission.
In October 2016 , in Singapore and Malaysia, the first mission had a focus on wind energy, biomass, tidal energy, smart grids, green buildings, energy efficiency and carbon services. Then, in October 2017 , in Singapore and the Philippines, the weeklong event included exhibitions  at the Singapore International Energy Week 2017 for energy professionals and three days in the Philippines  for B2B meetings.
The business mission in October 2018 , to Singapore and Indonesia, helped companies get support from the EU to meet strategic stakeholders and promote their brands.
ClimaCheck, a Swedish cleantech company interested in the Asian energy landscape, that participated successfully  to several EU Gateway | Business Avenues business missions in South East Asia. Since 2016, ClimaCheck met partners and local distributors in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and the Republic of Korea.
We have many interesting ongoing discussions and are optimistic about future growth in the region. The EU Gateway | Business Avenues missions we have participated in have given us a possibility to learn more about the markets and connect directly with key players in a cost-effective way. We have established a wider network than what we could have done without this EU-funded initiative. – Klas Berglöf, CEO, ClimaCheck (Sweden)
Overall, even though several FTA (Free Trade Agreements) between Asian countries and the EU were signed in recent years (in 2011 with Korea, in 2018 with Singapore , and in 2019 the EPA with Japan ), entering Asian markets remains difficult.
Thanks to the EU Gateway | Business Avenues business missions, the European companies specialised in Green Energy Technologies had the occasion to get in touch with potential Asian partners through B2B meetings and personalised counselling and seal major business deals in record time.