China and India have both surpassed the United States in EY’s Renewable energy country attractiveness index, pushing the US down for the first time since 2015 in the ranking of the top 40 countries.
EY published the 49th issue of the Renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI) this week, revealing that China and India had both surpassed the United States to take the top two spots, respectively, and the US falling to third. Unsurprisingly, recent executive orders made by newly minted President Donald Trump to roll back Obama-era environmental and climate change policies attempts to revive the US coal industry, and the review of the Clean Power Plan, all served to decrease the country’s attractiveness for renewable energy development and investment.
“Movements in the index illustrate the influence of policy on renewable energy investment and development – both productive and detrimental,” said Ben Warren, EY Global Power & Utilities Corporate Finance Leader and RECAI Chief Editor. “Supportive policy and a long-term vision are critical to achieving a clean energy future.”
The United States didn’t lose their spot solely because of their own poor performance but also lost out because of strong growth in both China and India. China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) announced in January that the country intends to spend $363 billion to develop new renewable energy capacity by 2020. China is also intending to trial a pilot tradable green certificate program in July of this year.
Meanwhile, India continued its upward trend that has been seen over the past few editions of the RECAI, thanks in part to the country’s plans to build 175 GW of new renewable energy capacity by 2022 and to ensure renewable energy accounts for 40% of installed capacity by 2040.
“The renewable energy industry is beginning to break free of the shackles that have stalled progress in the past,” Warren added. “More refined technology, lower costs and advances in battery storage are enabling more widespread investment and adoption of clean energy.”
These weren’t the only movements, however, as can be seen below. The United Kingdom squeezed its way back into the top 10, while somewhat surprisingly, Australia managed to eke its way into the top 5 due to a record year of investment in renewable energy and efforts to ensure the country reaches its 2020 renewable energy target. Canada fell out of the top 10, and Chile, France, and Mexico all saw themselves slip down in the top 10.