UK 8th Most Attractive for Renewable Energy Investment
The UK has retained its position as eighth most attractive country for global renewable energy investment. The 53rd Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index ranked 40 countries according to their renewables investment and deployment opportunities.
The UK failed to climb higher due to the Government’s withdrawal of support for a number of renewable energy projects. In fact, the country only maintained its previous ranking due to the potential of the recent offshore wind sector deal .
Offshore Wind Sector Deal
The Offshore Wind Sector Deal was confirmed in March. The deal has set a 30GW capacity target with offshore wind farms supplying 30% of the country’s electricity by 2030. The sector deal also aims to treble the amount of people employed in the offshore wind industry to 27,000.
To help achieve these goals, UK industry will invest about £250 million over the next eleven years. Investors will receive a total of £557 million in subsidies for renewable energy in exchange.
Government Criticised Over Lack of Support for Onshore Renewables
EY’s Global Power and Utilities Corporate Finance Leader, Ben Warren, said of the UK’s lack of movement, “While the Offshore Wind Deal is extremely positive news for the UK renewables sector and will help to attract significant investment over the coming years, the announcement regrettably follows the withdrawal of support for onshore renewables in 2016 that has slowed UK sector growth.”
The Government has been criticised before for their faltering support for the sector. Speaking at the beginning of 2018, shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead said, “The Government’s green rhetoric is nothing more than empty promises. Their ideologically-driven policy lurches away from clean solar power and onshore wind has spooked investors.”
Global Renewables Sector ‘Extremely Exciting’
However Mr Warren was much more enthusiastic about the global outlook for the renewables sector, stating it remains ‘extremely exciting’. Mr Warren, also the Chief Editor of the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index, added, “As renewable generation continues to become more and more affordable, increased levels of penetration are beyond doubt.
“It is perhaps the integration of renewables into the wider energy ecosystem, the sector’s contribution to the emerging low carbon e-mobility market and the integration with storage technology that will ultimately define the future for renewables.”
Global powerhouses China and the United States retained their respective first and second rankings in the energy investment attractiveness index. France’s recent improvements in the sector moved them up two positions to third. They achieved that by investing in floating offshore wind farms and doubling their annual target for onshore wind capacity.
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