China has held on to its spot as EY’s most attractive renewable energy country after taking the top spot earlier this year, leaving room for India to step into second place as the United States stalled at third due to new political headwinds.
EY published its latest Renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI) report on Tuesday, revealing that China has held on to its position as the world’s most attractive renewable energy market. China and India both overtook the United States in May’s RECAI report, dropping the US out of top spot for the first time since 2015. China maintains its top spot with unsurprising constant focus on renewable energy development and energy efficiency policies, but India’s position at second is now viewed by EY as “increasingly precarious” due to cancelled wind energy Power Purchase Agreements and steep declines in tariffs bid in recent auctions which have placed doubt over India’s 2022 target of 100 GW of solar PV.
It is similarly unsurprising that the United States has remained in third spot — or, maybe, more surprising is the fact that the United States hasn’t fallen further.
One wonders what EY’s thoughts of the United States would be if it was to include this week’s news that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to “withdraw” President Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
Overall, the United States has seen numerous rollbacks to Obama-era climate change policies — and EY has highlighted the decision made by the country’s International Trade Commission’s decision to rule in favor of Suniva and SolarWorld’s Section 201 trade complaint, which will likely lead to tariffs and price floors on solar PV technology imports.
Interestingly, this 50th edition of EY’s RECAI shows Middle Eastern and North African countries climbing the index due to a surge in renewable energy activity hand-in-hand with a series of policy developments in those regions, as well as financing deals and tenders. Specifically, the International Finance Corporation approved $635 million for 500 MW of solar projects in Egypt; Saudi Arabia has invited bids for its first utility-scale wind farm — a 400 MW project; and Algeria has entered the top 40 RECAI for the first time thanks to its 4 GW solar tender.
“The index highlights that government policy is pivotal in driving renewable energy development globally,” said Ben Warren, EY Global Power & Utilities Corporate Finance Leader and RECAI Chief Editor. “As it becomes increasingly clear that time is running out for legacy energy supply models, countries are vying for their place in a clean energy future. Collaboration with existing suppliers and innovative partners through partnerships and acquisitions holds the key to success in this new world.”
South Korea has also jumped up four places to 29th despite regional instability, thanks to national plans to increase its share of renewables from 6.6% today up to 20% by 2030. Further, France is stepping closer to the top five, jumping up into sixth position with the announcement of new tenders and acquisitions, backed up by strong political support for the renewable energy industry by French President Macron.
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