Report: US regarded as second most attractive nation for investing in renewable energy
According to a recent report by Ernst and Young (EY), the United States is regarded as the second-most attractive nation for investing into new renewable energy projects. Despite removing itself from the Paris Agreement and adding new tariffs to solar development, the US is being highlighted as a highly attractive nation for investing in renewables.
The report suggests that this is due to a considerable reduction in costs in manufacturing within solar, wind and battery products. The report known as the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) indicated that China is the current leader, ahead of the United States, climbing up from third place in the previous year.
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the levelised costs of renewable energy have decreased by nearly 18% worldwide. Installation costs now stand at $55/MWh for onshore wind sites and $70/MWh for solar PV sites. The RECAI also suggested a decline in costs for the pairing of battery storage solutions.
The US solar market has been challenged this year after President Trump introduced a 30% tax on the imports of solar products. This change was implemented to directly target Chinese solar development, however, it has caused nationwide concerns with solar jobs and a rise in manufacturing costs.
Ernst and Young have suggested, however, the market has already covered the tax changes and solar prices remain relatively low. Overall production costs for solar also continue to decline worldwide. Declining subsidies will also help support wind power projects planned for the US.
Within the RECAI report, Germany currently stands in Third, India in fourth and Australia fifth. The report indicates the significant investment made by Australia into the renewables market, achieving a figure of 9 billion in 2017. What is equally impressive is the drive in energy storage, led by Tesla’s project development in south Australia.
The UK, the Netherlands and Denmark all improved their standing in the report and all stand in the top ten. Whilst the UK did see a decline in renewables investment last year, the UK has started to regeneration older wind projects and has a series of subsidy-free solar projects currently in development. Nations such as Japan, however, did experience a decline in rankings which report suggest is due to a report of 80 solar industry related bankruptcies.
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