Increased political and legislative clarity over long-term energy strategies and offtake incentive regimes has pushed a number of markets up the rankings, while India and Sub-Saharan Africa’s energy transformation highlights the need for public-private sector collaboration.
Renewable energy country attractiveness index
Established in 2003, our global quarterly publication ranks 40 countries on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities, based on a number of macro, energy market and technology-specific indicators.
A five-fold increase in already ambitious solar targets, and far-reaching policy reform have catapulted India’s renewable energy market into the spotlight. Energy Minister Piyush Goyal talks exclusively to RECAI about why India is the place to be, and how he plans to climb to the top of our index.
With Sub-Saharan Africa experiencing unprecedented growth and quickly establishing itself as a foreign investment destination, Andrew Herscowitz, Coordinator of the Power Africa initiative, tells us why working together to understand the region’s unique challenges and opportunities has never been more important.
China retains the top spot after 2014 saw a record US$89.5b of clean energy investment and almost 24GW of additional wind capacity. Reaffirmation of its ambitious 2020 goals, measures to accelerate distributed solar, and renewed efforts in offshore wind set the foundations for a strong 12 to 18 months, despite falling short of its 14GW solar target.
Projections that in many US states solar will reach grid parity by 2016, and a one-year renewal of the production tax credit (PTC) for wind projects applied retrospectively through 2014, are expected to boost the sector, which is already showing signs of recovery.
President Obama’s ambitious climate change agenda is also helping drive policy support and investment, though fierce Republican opposition and mixed fortunes for offshore wind are reminders of the uphill battle ahead.
Japan stays in third place as the market feels the effects of measures to tighten the feed-in tariff (FIT) program and grid access in order to curb unsustainably high solar sector growth.
India jumps to fifth place thanks to the investment and project momentum created by increased policy support and an improving investment climate.
Meanwhile South Korea is scaling back its ambitious emissions trading scheme, and corruption allegations and grid challenges in Thailand have prompted a fall in the index for both.
Traction in Europe
France climbs to 7th place as the progress of its Energy Transition Bill creates much-needed certainty for a market that had stalled, and increased auction activity helps re-establish a healthy project pipeline.
Sweden jumps one-place to 20th position reflecting renewed ambitions to move from nuclear and achieve 100% renewables generation.
After protracted policy uncertainty, Poland climbs to 28th place as it finally moves closer to a new legislative framework that replaces the current green certificate regime with competitive auctions.
The UK falls to 8th place amid concerns that its new contract for difference (CfD) regime will not provide enough certainty to stimulate new project investment or the commitment of development expenditure.
Indications that new PV projects will be excluded from Italy’s FIT scheme, has prompted a fall to 16th place.
Chile, Mexico and Morocco continue to climb the index, rapidly becoming mainstream markets for renewable energy investment.
The first time participation of clean energy projects in Chile’s power tenders is likely to add to an already significant project pipeline, while Mexico’s energy transition bill is expected to set out a detailed road map for achieving its ambitious renewables targets.
The progress of Morocco’s flagship Ouarzazate CSP project also leaves it firmly on track to achieving its 2020 capacity target.
Giants rise and fall
Saudi Arabia and Russia have fallen to 37th and 40th places, respectively, reflecting slow progress to stimulate any significant renewable energy deployment, despite being otherwise attractive, large, resource-rich markets with ambitious targets.
A structured offtake program, ambitious targets, and appetite for large-scale projects have helped Egypt return to the index in 39th place. It fell out in May 2013 after political unrest caused a dramatic slowdown in infrastructure investment and project activity.