London, UK – Since 2003, global consultancy Ernst & Young has released its Country Attractiveness Indices, which gives a numerical ranking to 30 global renewable energy markets by scoring renewable energy investment strategies and resource availability. The indices are updated on a quarterly basis.
Ernst & Young has just released its latest report, positioning China squarely at the top as the most attractive country for renewable energy investment. The indices also indicate that several new counties are emerging as contenders in the market. According to a press release issued by the company, “a new world order is apparent in the clean energy sector.”
Wind In China
Ernst and Young said that China spent a record amount on wind energy this quarter, representing nearly half of all funds invested into wind power projects across the globe. Figures released for the second quarter of 2010 showed that China invested around $10bn in wind out of a global total of $20.5bn. Such heavy investment has ensured that approximately one out of every two wind turbines to go live in 2010 will have been in China.
U.S. Drops 1 Point; China Rises 2 Points
Stalled policy, repercussions of the financial crisis and low gas prices are blamed for America’s dip in renewable energy investment this quarter. The United States, which topped the indices between November 2006 and May 2010, is now five points behind the ascendant China.
Ben Warren, Ernst & Young’s UK Energy and Environmental Infrastructure Advisory Leader, explains, “Since reaching top spot in our Index in September, China has opened up a healthy gap from other markets. Cleantech, including renewable energy, represents a significant part of the country’s future economic growth plans.”
Warren said that China’s incredible growth of wind power is the result of “carefully planned energy and industrial policy that elevates cleantech to a national strategic level. “ He predicts that the Chinese solar market will soon become “of great importance in the global market place.”
New Countries Making a Splash
This issue of the indices includes four new entrants: South Korea, Romania, Egypt, and Mexico. South Korea leads the new entrants to secure 18th position, on the back of its ambitious targets, strong incentives, and robust supply chain. Romania and Egypt both achieve a ranking of 22nd, as a result of their fast-growing wind markets. Mexico completes the new line up, ranking 25th, benefiting from challenging targets and strong wind and solar resources.
Japan climbed three points in the index, driven by the potential for its solar cell market to grow nearly four times from its 2009 level to €4.3b [US $5.6 billion] by 2020, driven mostly by the Feed-in tariff (FIT) that was introduced in 2009.
India gained a point following the completion of regulations for the trading of renewable energy certificates by seven Indian states, with another nine states having now prepared drafts. India’s National Solar Mission is also highlighted in the report.
The Czech Republic is the only country to have fallen outside the top 30 countries, mostly due to various plans by Parliament to remove or significantly reduce solar subsidies.