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China and India overtake U.S. at top of renewable energy attractiveness index

by Andrea Waitrovich

China and India climbed to first and second place, respectively, in Ernst & Young’s latest Renewable energy country attractiveness index, overtaking former leader the United States.

The United States fell to third in the 40-strong ranking for the first time since 2015 due to a policy shift under the new administration of President Donald Trump, who signed an executive order rolling back many of the Obama administration’s climate change policies, but has yet to decide whether the United States will pull out of the Paris climate change agreement.

Germany and Australia were the other two countries in the top five.

In China, the National Energy Administration announced in January 2017 that it will spend $363 billion developing renewable power capacity by 2020. This investment will see renewables account for half of all new generating capacity and create 13 million jobs, according to the NEA plan.

China also plans to launch a pilot tradable green certificate program in July 2017 for project operators to prove they have generated clean power and sell to consumers. The country also has committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 18 percent per unit of economic growth by 2020 under the Paris Agreement.

India continued its upward trend in the index to second position with the government’s program to build 175GW in renewable energy generation by 2022 and to have renewable energy account for 40 percent of installed capacity by 2040. The country has added more than 10GW of solar capacity in the last three years — starting from a low base of 2.6GW in 2014.

For the complete top 40 ranking and insight on battery storage, offshore wind and rooftop solar developments, visit ey.com/recai.

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