US, China still most appealing markets for renewable energy projects in 2013, followed by Germany, Japan: Ernst & Young
February 25, 2014
– The US and China remained the two most attractive markets for the development of renewable energy projects in 2013, despite solar trade disputes, Ernst & Young’s latest country attractiveness rankings show.
According to the renewable energy attractiveness indices report published this week, the US ranked first, followed closely by China. While the US was gripped by uncertainties in the wind segment, it was still the number one country in terms of onshore wind power capacity. The market was supported by the last-minute revival of the production tax credit (PTC) in the wind sector but its expiry at end-2013 is to hurt developer and investor interest at some point. Overall, the renewable energy industry in the country was envigorated by president Obama’s rule that all federal government entities have to source 20% of their power from renewables by 2020, three times more than at present, Ernst & Young noted. In the offshore sector, the US benefitted from several government auctions to lease off sites in federal waters.
China, the second most appealing destination for renewables, installed the record 12 GW of solar capacity last year, amid US' anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into imports of China-made solar equipment. China also imposed anti-dumping duties on US and South Korean polysilicon firms. This year, the country aims to install 14 GW of solar parks, paving the way for a recovery in the solar sector.
According to Ernst & Young’s report, Germany kept its third position in terms of attractiveness, while Japan climbed to the fourth spot, from number five previously, thanks to the introduction of feed-in tariffs (FiTs) for renewables in July 2012. Meanwhile, the UK appears to have lost some of its appeal, declining to the fifth position.
By technology, the UK was the most appealing place for the construction of offshore wind farms last year, followed by Germany and China. In onshore wind sector, the US was the top destination, while China was second. Solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities were most preferred in China, followed by the US and Japan, whereas the US offered the best conditions for concentrated solar power (CSP) projects. Japan was the most appealing country for biomass plants in 2013. In the hydro and marine segment, the US came first, again closely followed by China.
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