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‘Cloudy outlook’ for UK RE

But country climbs back into top 10 of EY attractiveness index

‘Cloudy outlook’ for UK RE image

The UK has climbed back into the top 10 of EY’s latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index, but the outlook for the sector remains “cloudy”.

The UK fell to an all time low of 14th place in the index in October, but the UK investment environment is now more settled than recent years, said EY.

However, uncertainty remains over a “lingering lack of clarity around targets and subsidies”, it added.

In particular, EY noted the uncertain future for renewables in a post-Brexit UK.

EY head of energy corporate finance Ben Warren said: “The UK’s reappearance in the RECAI top 10 is the result of other countries falling away – notably Brazil which cancelled a wind and solar auction in December – rather than any particularly encouraging resurgence.

“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.”

At the head of the index, the US slipped from top spot to third, surpassed by both China and India.

The fall follows a “marked shift in US policy under the new administration”, EY said, such as the rollback of past the administration’s climate change policies and plans to revive the coal industry.

“Movements in the index illustrate the influence of policy on renewable energy investment and development – both productive and detrimental. Supportive policy and a long-term vision are critical to achieving a clean energy future,” Warren said.

EY said China announced plans in January to spend $363bn on new renewables capacity by 2020, while India climbed the index on the back of a government programme to build 175GW of clean power by 2022.

Image: FreeImages/Christian Wagner

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