Japan overtakes UK, and China closes gap behind US for renewables investment

Clare Saxon Ghauri
25 February 2014

LONDON: Although there was a slump in global renewable energy investment in 2013, new opportunities have opened up in many sectors and unexpected countries are emerging as leaders, according to EY’s latest Renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI), which was published today.

US topped EY’s quarterly RECAI, closely followed by China propelled by its record-breaking 12 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity, and Germany in third position.

Notably, Japan overtook the UK to take fourth place in the index with 7GW of renewables, dominated by its fast-growing solar and offshore wind markets.

The RECAI scores the top 10 countries for renewable energy investment as:

1. US
2. China
3. Germany
4. Japan
5. UK
6. Canada
7. India
8. Australia
9. France
10. South Korea

The index shows that despite the 11% dip in renewables investment around the world last year, emerging markets promise to continue shaping the sector, as they now attract half of new investment.

Surprising countries are picked out as potential leaders in the sector, with authors identifying Ethiopia, Kenya, Indonesia, Malaysia and Uruguay as markets to watch this year.

But the authors also warn that resilience, efficiency and effectiveness, ‘technology beyond generation’, new markets, and innovative financing are fundamental if the global industry is to grow in 2014.

Gil Forer, EY’s Global Cleantech Leader comments: “The 2013 fall in global investment reflects another challenging year for the renewables sector, with policy uncertainty in particular reducing investor appetite across many markets. However, it also reflects a maturing sector, with falling technology costs filtering through to lower investment requirements: increasing the dollar power per megawatt. We must now therefore focus on what needs to be done to maximize investment and deployment in light of the fact renewable energy is becoming increasingly cost competitive.”

Gil added: “Innovation in non-generation infrastructure and technology will not only drive efficiencies and boost deployment, but also represents a significant investment opportunity across both developed and emerging markets. The digitalization of energy in particular will create a revolution that will have significant social, economic and environmental impact.”

This Infographic by EY summarizes the RECAI 40, showing a challenging 2013 and the need for a more globally integrated renewables sector.

EY infographic

See the full index

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By Clare Saxon

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