Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices Report
Published on November 22nd, 2011
As policy-makers scramble to stop recession tightening its grip on major economies, demographic changes and growth in emerging markets appear to be driving renewable energy investment. Developed countries are focused on slowing demand and cutting costs, while rapid growth markets have a huge appetite for energy. A revolution is underway, and the renewable energy industry is adapting to a changed world.
This is demonstrated by the arrival of five emerging markets in this issue of the CAI; Argentina, Hungary, Israel, Tunisia, and Ukraine, all of which share a huge need for more renewable power.
Eight other countries have entered the CAI this year, and the balance of power is shifting with Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, South-east Asia, and Latin America now representing renewable energy’s future. Some of these countries, such as China, South Korea and Taiwan are even taking over strategic manufacturing sectors and increasing exports, leading to friction with more established markets.
In this issue we focus on Brazil, a country entering the top 10 for the first time, and Romania, which has risen to 13th place after joining the CAI a year ago. Both have fast-growing wind markets and strong energy demands.
By contrast, Western Europe and US markets have been hit by reduced government incentives, restricted capital access, and increased overseas competition. Our lead article reflects on this challenging situation and the impact of low cost shale gas on the outlook for renewables.
Continued commitment to the development of renewable energy means China still tops the All Renewables Index, but market growth has slowed, leading to a fall of one point. A tightened approval process for new wind energy projects is producing turbine oversupply, and manufacturers are already seeking more export markets.
The US has also dropped one point following expiration of the national loan guarantee program and continuing uncertainty over the future of the Treasury grants program and production tax credits. There has also been a decline in investor confidence in solar following the bankruptcy of three major manufacturers.
The US is now four points behind China and just one ahead of Germany – the only top-ten European country to rise in the index following news that its state-owned development bank, KfW, will provide more than €100b to ease transition from nuclear to renewables.
In the UK, meanwhile, investor confidence has been affected by a dramatic drop in solar feed-in-tariff (FIT) rates.
In this CAI the CEO of AREVA Renewables shares insights on the offshore and solar CSP industries, and in another feature article we discuss the challenges and opportunities for financing the offshore sector.