China & India knock US off top spot in renewables index

New Delhi :  The US has dropped to third place in EY’s latest renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI) of the top 40 countries globally, having held the number-one position since 2015, with China and India now ranked first and second respectively.

The latest report cites changes in US policy under the Trump administration – such as the review of the Clean Power Plan, efforts to revive the domestic coal industry and reversal of the previous administration’s climate change policies – and potentially low gas prices, as key factors in its downgrading.

At the same time, an announcement by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) in January, detailing a $363 billion spend for the development of renewable power capacity up to 2020, has helped leapfrog China into first place. The country is also targeting an 18% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions per unit of economic growth by 2020 under the Paris Agreement.

In India, a programme to build 175GW in renewable energy generation by 2022 with the goal of 40% of the country’s capacity from renewables by 2040 has helped push it into second place.

EY’s global power & utilities corporate finance leader and RECAI chief editor, Ben Warren, said: “Movements in the index illustrate the influence of policy on renewable energy investment and development – both productive and detrimental. Supportive policy and a long-term vision are critical to achieving a clean energy future.”

Other changes of note include the rise of the UK into tenth position, after slipping to 14th place in the previous index (Environment Analyst 02-Nov-16), with the report noting the UK government will continue with its forthcoming auctions of renewable energy ‘contracts for difference’, providing £730m (US$943m) of annual support over three rounds, despite the snap general election called for 8 June. The report also notes that whilst the UK environment for renewables is “more settled than in recent years”, the potential implications of Brexit are unclear.

Other countries encouraged into the now more economically viable renewables marketplace include Kazakhstan, Panama and the Dominican Republic, which have entered the rankings for the first time, ranking 37th, 38th and 39th respectively.

Source: Environment Analyst

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