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Europe bar UK regains ground in EY's renewables index

Solar farm in France. Featured Image: Mny-Jhee/Shutterstock.com

October 26 (SeeNews) - European countries climbed in Ernst & Young's (EY) latest Renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI), with the UK bucking the trend.

In the previous index in May, European markets lost positions, while emerging markets continued their ascend.

European countries lack the flexibility of emerging markets and face challenges of integrating renewables with historically centralized conventional power generation, RECAI chief editor Ben Warren commented in a statement today. "It began to look like European countries were scaling back their renewables ambitions as a result but, in recent months, we’ve seen promising new programs materialize around the continent," he added.

In the top 10, France moved up one position to seventh place thanks to its plan to tender for 3 GW of solar capacity over the next three years and the start of construction on a factory that will produce solar panels to pave 1,000 km (621 miles) of France's road network. Belgium, Sweden, Ireland, Norway and Finland also rose in the index. In contrast, the UK fell to an all-time low of 14th position following the Brexit vote, the dismantling of the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) and approval of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

The top five of the index remained unchanged, featuring the US, China, India, Chile and Germany.

Emerging markets that lost positions include Brazil, Egypt and Turkey, while risers include Mexico, South Africa and Argentina.

EY also noted that green bond issuance is soaring this year. In the first seven months of 2016, USD 48.2 billion (EUR 44.3bn) of green bonds were sold by corporate, supranational, municipal and government issuers, compared with USD 41.8 billion for the whole of 2015.

Since the inception of the market in 2007, 65% of the proceeds of green bonds, or USD 95.6 billion, have been channeled to renewable energy. Europe accounts for the largest part of that renewable energy green bond issuance -- USD 54.9 billion, followed by North America with USD 19.8 billion and Asia with USD 4.5 billion.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.919)

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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