China takes top spot in the index, while Europe’s increasing renewable energy penetration prompts a focus on enablement. Island energy models and democratic finance signal that small is the new big.
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.
After decades focused on deployment, high levels of renewable energy penetration are now forcing the industry and policy-makers to lead the world into the era of enablement.
Aggressive targets, sustained support levels and efforts to open up the market to foreign investors have launched China to the top of the index again. The Government is keen to attract private investment, opening the doors for a wider range of stakeholders to participate in the significant growth still expected across the country’s renewables sector. China already dominates onshore wind and utility-scale solar PV, and is now setting its sights on others, such as offshore wind, tidal and distributed solar.
US caught in a jam
Meanwhile, congressional gridlock is creating uncertainty for investors and developers, hampering progress in the US. Despite this, the market’s significant investment and deployment potential keeps it in second place.
Top ten reshuffle
The UK and India switch places to seventh and sixth places respectively. India’s new government looks set to galvanize public and private investment in the sector as it develops its long-term energy strategy, while mixed signals, dwindling budgets and political apathy contribute to the UK’s fall down the rankings.
Australia moves down to tenth place with the official repeal of carbon pricing legislation, a reflection of the Government’s current focus on removing market subsidies. The road ahead remains uncertain, as investors say investment will stall without clear signs of Government support. A final decision is pending, but further support cuts seem likely.
Europe’s ups and downs
Germany holds on to third place as we wait to see the effects of the latest amendments to the renewable energy law, while the Netherlands jumps up to 13th place thanks to its role as host to the largest ever offshore wind financing, the US$3.8b 600MW Gemini project.
Spain and Italy, however, fall to 15th and 22nd places, respectively. Retroactive subsidy changes in Italy and the enactment of a previously announced cap on project returns in Spain represent yet more setbacks, though it will be interesting to see whether Spain in particular can find other ways to reignite investors’ interest.
New market, old news
In an increasingly consistent theme, continued policy support and a strengthening deployment outlook once again push Brazil, Chile, South Africa and Kenya up the index. Morocco also climbs thanks to structured tendering programs, while the financing of a mega CSP project in Israel boosts its attractiveness.