China and India climbed to first and second place, respectively, in Ernst & Young's (EY) latest Renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI), overtaking former leader the US.
The US fell in the 40-strong ranking for the first time since 2015 due to a policy shift under the new administration of president Donald Trump, including the review of the US Clean Power Plan.
China secured the top position following its announcement in January that it will invest USD 363 billion (EUR 331bn) in developing renewable power capacity by 2020. India's rise, meanwhile, reflects the government's ambitious programme to build 175 GW in renewable energy generation by 2022. The country was aided to the second spot by a combination of government support and increasingly attractive economics, the report says. India has added over 10 GW of solar capacity in the last three years and installed a record 5.4 GW of wind capacity in 2016/17.
Germany and Australia were the other two countries in the top 5.
"Movements in the index illustrate the influence of policy on renewable energy investment and development – both productive and detrimental. Supportive policy and a long-term vision are critical to achieving a clean energy future," commented RECAI chief editor Ben Warren. He also said that the renewable energy sector is starting to break free on the back of more refined technology, lower costs and advances in battery storage.
Fallers in the index include Brazil, following the cancellation of its A-3 wind and solar auction in December; South Africa and Egypt, where in spite of a feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme, EY says investment has slowed this year. Markets that moved up include Australia, Japan, the UK, which returned to 10th position as the country is continuing with its Contracts for Difference (CfDs) auction in spite of the snap general election, Jordan and Pakistan.
There were three new entrants -- Kazakhstan, Panama and the Dominican Republic. The full EY report is available at https://go.ey.com/2rl7PCE.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.913)
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