Ernst & Young have released the latest version of their renewable energy attractiveness index (released every quarter). Overall, China is still leading after taking the top spot from the US last year. The top 10 countries are as follows (the highest possible score is 100):
- China (72)
- USA (67)
- India (63)
- Germany (62)
- Italy (60)
- UK (59)
- France (57)
- Spain (55)
- Canada (53)
- Greece (50)
The indices are based on a “long-term” view of up to 5 years. So, while a renewable energy leader like Denmark — which is facing a more restricted environment after rapid growth — is not high up on the list, countries with less history in renewable energy investment but more projected growth can climb to the top. China, of course, has been climbing for awhile.
China is Rockin’ It
Due to continued and varied investment in renewable energy and supportive governmental policies, China is in a league of its own.
China has climbed to its highest ever score in the All renewables index, reaching the level the US held in Q3 2007. This is principally due to China diversifying its renewables portfolio through an increased focus on offshore wind and CSP. This broadening scope as new technologies become commercially viable illustrates a key trend.
US in Limbo Due to Tea Partiers in Congress
While Obama’s support for renewable energy has been uplifting and encouraging, the Tea Party’s illogical opposition to it has killed our position in this field relative to China. Wind has been hit especially hard (solar not so much).
The US remains in second position. Although President Obama has voiced his support for renewable energy, significant Republican opposition in Congress is causing a stalemate. Utility scale solar projects currently appear to be immune to this uncertainty, but lack of liquidity in power offtake arrangements remain the major barrier to new utility scale wind projects, particularly in light of the continued suppression of gas prices in the US.
Overall Drop in Scores
Overall, many countries have seen a drop in their scores this time around due to policy changes and less capital.
Apart from Brazil, which, propelled by strong growth in its wind market, has risen four places to 12th position, most countries in the top 20 have dropped slightly in scores – largely as a result of diminishing incentives and restricted access to capital.
The Overall Score vs the Wind or Solar Energy
The overall score is based on a calculated combination of the following individual technology indices, split up as follows:
- Wind index — 65%
(comprising onshore wind index and offshore wind index)
- Solar index — 18%
(comprising solar photovoltaic (PV) index and concentrated solar power (CSP) index)
- Biomass and other resources index — 17%
Here’s how the top 10 for wind and solar energy turned out:
Wind Energy Top 10
1. China (78)
2. Germany (66 — tie)
2. USA (66 — tie)
3. UK (66 — tie)
5. India (63)
6. Italy (62)
7. France (60)
8. Canada (59)
9. Spain (55)
10. Ireland (54)
Solar Energy Top 10
1. USA (74)
2. India (65)
3. China (62)
4. Spain (62)
5. Italy (58)
6. Greece (54)
7. Japan (52)
8. Australia (51)
9. France (50 — tie)
9. Morocco (50 — tied)
9. Portugal (50 — tied)
Aside from overviews and lengthy reflections on renewable energy investment, the report contains in-depth discussions of and interviews with key people from wind energy giants Suzlon and Goldwind, as well as in-depth discussing of the renewable energy investment market in China, the US, India, the UK, Ireland, Poland, the Nordics, Morocco, Taiwan, Bulgaria, and Chile.
Check out the full report here: Renewable energy country attractiveness index.
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Photo via paolosdala