4.7 per cent growth over the last year pushed the UK green goods and services market past the £122bn mark, according to recent government figures.
The new report on the worldwide Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services (LCEGS) market, released last week by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, reveals that the sector grew from £116.8bn last year, providing an additional £5.4bn of economic activity.
It also shows that the UK outperformed the worldwide market, which expanded by 3.7 per cent to £3.3 trillion. The UK is currently ranked sixth in the global LCEGS sector overall and now employs almost one million people in the low carbon economy.
This strong performance helped the UK to an LCEGS export surplus of £5bn. Exports grew just under four per cent to £11.8bn and dwarfed the £6.8bn of imports, which showed a smaller increase of 3.1 per cent.
The market for water supply and waste water management stood at £8.37 billion for 2010/11, a 1.7 per cent increase on the year before, while the wave and tidal market in the UK amounted to just £86 million, though that was a 5.3 per cent increase on 2010, which was the third highest year-on-year increase in growth rate after carbon finance and wind.
The number of companies in the LCEGS sector rose very slightly by 0.1 per cent to 51,682 in 2010/2011, reversing the trend of decline in the years since 2008.
Growth for the LCEGS sector in the UK is expected to increase in the coming years to 5.5 per cent in 2015, according to the report. Expected growth in the water supply and waste water treatment area is negligible, but wave and tidal is forecast to grow by 6.2 per cent in 2013/2014.
Globally, Africa saw the highest growth in LCEGS with 6.5 per cent growth, although the report acknowledged that this is from a low base. Meanwhile, Europe grew 3.9 per cent, just ahead of the Americas on 3.6 per cent, and Asia on 3.7 per cent.