Connecting SMEs for a green economy

Renewable Energy Toolkit

Renewable Energy Toolkit
tool icon

The toolkit provides market intelligence on the potential scale of the opportunities, including those for each onshore renewables technology, and highlights those most relevant to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the supply chain. Constraints and barriers to development of each technology are also explored, as well as the opportunities for their deployment.


The information in this toolkit is largely targeted at SMEs in the energy, building and related fields with the aim of increasing their understanding of the onshore renewables and closely related low carbon sectors, and the challenges and opportunities associated with this.

The toolkit also provides information to potential investors and procurers of renewable energy and related low carbon technologies and services. It explains the relevance and viability of the range of different technologies and how these might be used as well as government support and incentives for early deployment. It highlights the benefits of using local businesses and particularly the innovation opportunities and flexibility that working with smaller and local organisations can bring.

This toolkit is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and as such is focused on the South East of England region. However, many of the challenges and opportunities, and much of the guidance provided here are common to, and applicable to, all areas of the UK and beyond.

Process of tool application

The toolkit consists of eight chapters:

  1. Introduction: description of the main aims of the toolkit, overview of the renewable energy market, and analysis of opportunities and challenges for SMEs.
  2. Technology and deployment: outline and overview of renewable energy resources and existing deployment.
  3. Reveiw of renewable energy potential, specifically in the Southeast of England.
  4. Local supply chain: insight into the opportunities and challenges for local SMEs in exploiting the renewable energy market.
  5. Existing and future policies and incentives, specifically in the United Kingdom.
  6. Finance and contracts: overview of financing options and business models for SMEs.
  7. Barriers and challenges: challenges related to renewable energy investments, as well as environmental and socio-economic impacts.
  8. Caste studies: examples illustrated.


The Renewable Energy Toolkit is available on the website of the Institute for Sustainability: Renewable Energy Toolkit.

This Renewable Energy Toolkit complements the Local Procurement and Supply Chain Toolkit, which provides practical tools for SMEs to increase their chances of accessing and winning tenders from the public and private sectors – particularly from large organisations – for renewable energy, energy efficiency and associated low carbon investments. It is also designed to share best practice with large public and private sector buyers on how to create local opportunities for SMEs from low carbon investment and help to overcome some of the barriers faced by SMEs.