The UK is the fourth most attractive country for clean energy investment according to Ernst & Young, moving up one place in the ranking since May.
The audit firm’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) report paints the UK as one of the best places to invest in renewables, behind the US, China and Germany.
The decision by the government to disclose draft strike prices for its proposed contracts for difference (CfD) mechanism and the success of the Green Investment Bank (GIB) have allowed the UK to climb the ranking.
Ben Warren, environmental finance leader at Ernst & Young, said, “The flurry of the government announcements has been welcomed with a sigh of relief by the sector and contributed to the UK’s improved position in our index.”
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However, Warren said that the UK had failed to provide necessary support to biomass projects.
“The government’s controversial move toward shale gas appears to be at the expense of biomass power, which arguably still has a critical role to play in expanding the UK’s low-carbon baseload power”, he said.
While the top three – US, China and Germany – has remained unchanged since the previous report published in May, Australia, which used to be in the fourth place, slipped down to the sixth, following the new prime minister’s decision to scrap the fixed carbon price in order to keep energy prices low.
In May’s report, the UK was ranked fifth, but gained the top position for its attractiveness in offshore wind. However, in the current report, it is noted, “Offshore wind scenarios released by the government in mid-July indicate it has dramatically downgraded its ambitions for the sector.
“The downgrade is disheartening for a sector that is already battling hard to reduce costs and facing fierce competition for jobs with other offshore markets.”