China is global renewables leader

China now leads the world in the renewable energy sector, according to a report by Ernst & Young, overtaking the US, which topped the indices up to May 2010.

The Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices was first published in February 2003 and has charted which countries are the most attractive location in which to invest in renewable energy projects.

China’s record spending on its wind industry this quarter represented nearly half of all funds invested in new wind projects around the world.

China invested $10 billion in wind out of a global total of $20.5 billion. This means one in every two wind turbines to go live in 2010 will have been in China.

Ernst & Young’s environment and energy infrastructure advisory leader, Ben Warren, said: “Since reaching top spot in our Index released in September, China has opened a healthy gap from other markets.

“Cleantech, including renewable energy, represents a significant part of the country’s future economic growth plans.

“The level of wind energy being deployed in China shows what can be achieved with carefully planned energy and industrial policy.

“The Chinese solar industry is fast becoming increasingly important in the global market place.”

The UK comes fifth in the index, which is one point higher than its original ranking in 2003. The report concludes that both the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) and National Infrastructure Plan signalled strong support for renewables and specific investment in offshore wind.

However, the government needs to clarify the uncertainty around regulation and policy to attract investment.

Ben Warren said, “Despite the ongoing climate of austerity and with stringent spending cuts set to bite in the New Year, the UK is still open for green business.

“However, while the Chancellor used the CSR to reaffirm that the government’s commitment to green energy and low carbon technology as a future driver of economic growth remains undimmed, the Coalition still has plenty of work to do to deliver on its promise to be ‘the greenest government ever’.

“Continuing prevarication over the much lauded Green Investment Bank, and continued uncertainty around some areas of regulation and policy, such as the banding and grandfathering of Renewable Obligation Certificates and the medium term security of the new Feed-In-Tariff regime for small scale generation, require swift resolution if the sector wants to attract the capital investment it desperately requires.”

Alison Brown

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