China Passes UK as Key Nation for Investment in Renewables

China has displaced the UK in the top five most attractive countries for investment in renewable energy for the first time in the indices’ five-year history, according to a new report from Ernst & Young. The report, which analyzes the firm’s latest renewable energy country attractiveness indices, tracks and scores global investment in renewable energy in the first six months of 2008.

The UK dropped from fourth to sixth place in the all renewables index and from second to fifth place in the long-term wind index. The report shows that China is diversifying its energy supply by incorporating more sustainable sources into its rapidly expanding energy generation mix.

Jonathan Johns, head of renewable energy at Ernst & Young, said that the Chinese rise in the rankings has been driven, in part, by the government’s plan to generate 15% of the country’s energy from non-carbon sources by 2020.

“Investment in China has been boosted by the government’s energy policy, which secures renewable energy as a vital and important part of the country’s energy mix. China’s stellar growth in renewables can also be attributed to the speed at which it has built up its supply chain capability, to the point where it is likely to have nine gigawatts of manufacturing capacity in a few years,” Johns said.

The UK’s delayed Energy Bill, which is still going through Parliament, partially caused the UK’s ranking to fall. This, according to the report, is a strong contrast to the speed at which Germany has addressed the challenges placed by the EU Renewables Directive. Germany has climbed up the index to second in both the all renewables and the long-term wind index, thanks to its simple legislative framework, which includes the feed-in tariff law.

The U.S. retains the top spot on the all renewable indices, followed by Germany, India, China and Spain rounding out the top five. In addition to the UK and Germany, the report includes updates on the renewables markets in the U.S., India, Spain, Australia, Italy and Ireland.

For more information on the report from Ernst & Young, click here.

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