- Immediate upgrade of energy transmission grids now critical across the globe
- Eastern Europe needs significant investments to meet net-zero targets
- Greece for the first time in the 24th position of the index after the legislative reforms concerning the licensing process
- New power purchase agreements (PPA) index ranks markets’ corporate PPA growth potential
Renewable energy is thriving as market conditions, policy decisions, investment and technology improvements push clean energy to new heights. However, the sector must be careful to navigate bottlenecks that could threaten continued rapid growth. This is according to the 58th EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI), which reveals that the drive to integrate increasing volumes of variable resources is set to put grid infrastructure under significant strain, and the investment required to upgrade and expand energy transmission infrastructure across the globe will be a key challenge.
RECAI 58, which ranks the world’s top 40 markets on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities, further explores how markets in Eastern Europe are beginning to intensify their journey to net zero. Compared with Western European economies, Eastern Europe is trailing in its development of green energy infrastructure; only Poland and Hungary are among the RECAI Top 40. Meanwhile, all European nations are navigating their own economic, social and political hurdles to ensure the EU deadline of carbon neutrality is achieved by 2050.
US, mainland China and India continue to retain the top three rankings
The US continues its top ranking on RECAI and is expected to hold its position as new initiatives are being announced under President Biden. Mainland China and India remain unchanged in the rankings at second and third position respectively, as favorable regulatory and investment conditions continue in these markets.
The top performing markets have held their ground in this latest issue – with no movement into or out of the top eight. France (fourth position, up by one) and the UK (fifth position, down by one) have switched while Germany (sixth position, up by one) has edged back ahead of Australia (seventh position, down by one), while Japan remains in eighth position.
Also, under the spotlight are policy support and notable government auction rounds for Greece, Spain, Taiwan and the UK. Following the reforms in the licensing process, Greece now ranks in the 24th position (up by two) from the 26th position, its best performance to date.
The connection between the growing hydrogen sector and the renewables sector in markets including Germany, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, the UK and the US is explored in RECAI, with details of how various models are being deployed to fund investment and reduce risk. Offshore wind developments are highlighted in Japan, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK, with France and Belgium (26th position, up by four) moving up the RECAI ranking having announced plans that will significantly exploit their offshore wind potential.
New power purchase agreements (PPA)
With environment, social and governance (ESG) measures soaring to the top of the agenda for companies and investors, RECAI also highlights that corporate PPAs are emerging as a key driver of clean energy growth. A new PPA Index – introduced in this edition of RECAI – focuses on the attractiveness of renewable power procurement and ranks the growth potential of a nation’s corporate PPA market.
Commenting on the findings of the report, Stelios Demetriou, Partner and Head of Strategy and Transactions at ΕΥ Cyprus, stated: “Our latest report confirms that increasing investment and policy support across the region has enabled the Renewable Energy Sector to continue growing at a breakneck pace, at a moment when we appear to be approaching a watershed moment in combatting the climate crisis. Having said this, along with investment in RES, a substantial increase in grid spending over the next decade will also be needed if we are to meet the ambitious sustainability goals we have set”.
For the complete Top 40 ranking, the new PPA Index and analysis of the latest renewable energy developments across the globe, visit ey.com/recai.