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No top changes in quarterly assessment of renewable energy

The United States, China, Germany, India and Italy remain the most attractive countries for renewable energy, according to a quarterly assessment by Ernst & Young.

The US scores 70 on the ‘all renewables’ index, with subscores of 71 in wind, 75 in onshore wind, 58 in offshore wind, 72 in solar PV, 75 in CSP, 64 in biomass, 67 in geothermal and 68 in the country's infrastructure for renewable energy.

The Ernst & Young country attractiveness indices provide scores for national renewable energy markets on those 9 factors, with some weighted as long-term and others as short-term indices. The ‘all renewables’ index combines individual technology indices (wind 68%, Solar 15%, etc) with consideration given to country-specific parameters and technology-specific parameters.

China scored 67 on the ‘all renewables’ index in the February assessment, Germany was 64, India 61, and Italy scored 60. All five countries scored in the same spots in the November assessment.

The balance of the top ten countries were Spain with a 59, UK 59, France 57, Canada 53 and Portugal with a 52.

The other rankings were Greece 51, Ireland 51, Australia 51, Sweden 49, Netherlands 48, Poland 45, Denmark 44, Belgium 44, Brazil 43, Norway 43, Japan 43, Turkey 41, New Zealand 40, South Africa 40, Czech 35, Austria 34 and Finland 33.

The UK climbed two points to tie with Spain on the back of marked improvements to the industry for renewable energy development. Germany fell two points following news that solar PV may face tariff cuts in excess of the annual degression.

Separate indices for wind energy

On the separate wind index, China scored top with a 72 (comprised of a 75 in onshore, 62 in offshore, 80 in near-term), followed by the US (71), Germany (66), UK (65), India (62), Spain (60), Canada (60), Italy (60), France (59), Ireland (58), Netherlands (54), Portugal (54), Greece (53), Sweden (52), Australia (51), Belgium (50), Poland (50), Norway (48), Denmark (47), New Zealand (46), Japan (45), Brazil (44), Turkey (42), South Africa (42), Czech (34), Finland (33) and Austria (29).

There is no significant movement among the top-ranked countries but, in the onshore index, China dropped one point due to the UN’s withdrawal of CDM status of 10 of its wind farms “which has a knock-on effect on investor confidence,” the report notes. Germany dropped a point due to the annual regression of feed-in tariffs which, while expected, “is likely to affect returns and decrease attractiveness of investment.”

In the near-term wind index, the US scores in top spot with 85, China (80), India (56), UK (52), Germany (50), Spain (50), Italy (47), France (47), Canada (46) and a three-way tie for 10th spot among Greece, Australia and Ireland.

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