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UK rejoins top ten in global renewables league table

16 May 2017

EY’s latest renewables attractiveness index (RECAI) has ranked the UK market 10th globally for new investment - but the advisory firm said the move up from 14th place last year follows major blows in other countries, rather than progress in the UK. Four years ago the UK market was ranked fourth globally but has dropped down the ranks after a series of subsidy reductions. 

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Ben Warren, EY’s head of energy corporate finance, said question markets linger over renewable energy targets, subsidies and connections with mainland power markets following Brexit.

“The UK continues to underwhelm investors who are waiting to see if future UK policy will support and encourage the renewable energy industry towards a subsidy-free environment, where consumers can benefit from the UK’s excellent natural resources for renewable energy,” he added.

The exception to this gloomy outlook for renewable energy investment is offshore wind power.

"The offshore wind sector is showing signs of creating a sustainable industry and driving down costs to provide more value for money for UK plc," Warren said. "The technology is becoming increasingly competitive and we are likely to see offshore wind emerge as the clear winner from this round of auctions."

In April the UK kicked off the second round of renewable energy auctions for Contracts for Difference (CfD) subsidies which allocates £730m of annual funding over three rounds.
The current round includes £290m which offshore wind farm developers seem likely to claim after driving down costs quicker than expected.

At the top of the EY attractiveness index, China and India both moved ahead of the US which fell to third position. China topped the index after announcing plans to spend $363bn (£280bn) developing renewable power capacity by 2020.

Meanwhile, India’s government is pushing forward plans to build 175 gigawatts of renewable energy generation by 2022 to reach its target of renewables making up 40pc of installed capacity by 2040.

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