UK’s renewable energy appeal hits 12-year low

The UK is losing its appeal as a destination for investment in renewable energy, dropping to eight place in the latest global league table. EY’s ‘Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index’ […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The UK is losing its appeal as a destination for investment in renewable energy, dropping to eight place in the latest global league table.

EY’s ‘Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index’ revealed the lack of clarity on whether the Contracts for Difference (CfDs) will be enough to stimulate new investment was one of the reasons that contributed to the UK’s slip.

The “continuing” lack of clarity around the future role of renewable within the UK’s overall mix post the general election also led to the appeal dropping to its lowest in 12 years, the report added.

The UK fell one place to eighth as France overtook its position in the table.

Ben Warren, Energy Corporate Finance Leader at EY said the UK’s CfD regime should “at least” deliver the lowest possible cost to consumers.

He added: “The very slow passage of market reform and the late introduction of the CfD regime has made it very difficult for developers to sanction investment in new projects.

“The upcoming election means we can expect an effective moratorium on energy policy. While it is encouraging that politicians are using this policy ‘down-time’ to issue cross-party pledges on climate change, there is little or no policy behind the rhetoric to convert this into concrete commitments. As a result, the role of renewable energy in the UK’s long-term energy strategy remains unknown at a time when it has become affordable, quick to deploy and can deliver real jobs for the UK’s economy.”

DECC argued the UK saw its “highest level of investment” in renewable energy last year.

A spokesperson added: “Our electricity market reforms are stimulating the biggest ever investment in renewable energy.

“The results of our world-leading CfD auction could power 1.4 million homes, create thousands of green jobs and give a massive boost to home-grown energy whilst driving down costs to bill payers.”

The solar industry slammed the government for “favouring big players” after it revealed the winners of the first wave of the renewable energy auction.

The report saw China, US, Germany and Japan retain their positions at the top of the table while India climbed one place to fifth as a result of the government’s “ambitious” renewables targets and policy reform.