EY's Head of Energy & Environmental Finance Ben Warren discusses how the UK can create a more appealing and competitive environment for renewables.
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 challenging 2013 as highlighted the need for a more globally integrated sector, new sources of capital and greater transparency.
A challenging 2013 for some markets and a booming year for others suggest volatility for the year ahead. We expect resilience, efficiency and innovation to be key themes.
An adjustment to the technology weightings to reflect solar’s increasing importance has caused significant movement in the index. Countries across Southern Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East have benefited, while those in wind-heavy regions such as Northern Europe, and particularly the Nordics, have slipped down.
Top 10 shuffle
Japan replaces the UK in fourth place thanks to its rapidly growing solar markets, thriving offshore sector and proactivity in addressing infrastructure barriers. The UK continues to be hampered by political infighting and mixed policy measures. A series of offshore wind project cancellations also helped take it down to fifth place.
Australia also continues its fall from grace, dropping two places to eighth position. Government measures to scrap carbon pricing and clean energy funding are derailing progress towards an economically viable renewables market. Large-scale tenders in Quebec and the removal of local content obligations from Ontario’s renewable support scheme have helped Canada move up to sixth place.
India and France have switched places again, with India jumping to sixth place while France slips to ninth. Recovery and growth are expected for India after a relatively weak 2013, with ambitious targets and a series of large-scale project announcements creating a robust pipeline.
In France, a weakened macroeconomic climate and a prolonged review of its energy strategy leaves the renewables market in limbo.
Other notable rises
Outside the top 10, successful competitive bidding programs in Brazil and South Africa in 2013 have helped boost project pipelines, taking them up to 12th and 19th place respectively.
Mexico has jumped three places thanks to energy market reforms that are expected to boost competition and economic growth.
Spain’s first unsubsidized solar PV plant could prompt a slow market recovery, and its offshore sector is also starting to grow.