Photo via China Daily
New figures indicate that China has retained its leading position in the global renewable energy sector.
The latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices released by consulting firm Ernst & Young indicate that China remains the leading overall renewable energy market, followed by Germany, the US, India and France, in that order.
Ernst & Young’s Country Attractiveness Indices confers 40 countries with scores out of 100 to reflect the appeal of their renewable energy markets, energy infrastructure and suitability for specific technologies.
China came out on top primarily due to its strength in solar power, onshore wind and infrastructure. The Asian giant bested all other nations in the infrastructure, onshore wind and wind indices, despite the relative paucity of its offshore wind development.
The momentum of China’s renewable energy development is set to increase this year, with Beijing maintaining a target of 48 gigawatts in total new installed renewable capacity in 2013, a goal which is leagues ahead of other markets.
Aggressive overseas expansion by Chinese companies, fueled by the nation’s vast trove of foreign reserves, is also likely to confer a long-term advantage upon the domestic sector.
Little changed in the relative positions of the world’s key renewable energy players, with the top 10 list for 2012 and 2011 almost exactly the same.
The US ceded second position to Germany as uncertainty surrounding government policy hampered the development of domestic projects.
Despite its modest population size, Australia also managed to secure a position in the top 10 this year, rising from 11th place in 2011 to 10th in 2012.
Australia logged strong scores for onshore wind, solar PV and geothermal, yet lagged in offshore wind and biomass.
Ernst & Young’s new round of figures also indicate that total global renewable energy investment in 2012 fell 11 per cent year-on-year to $267 billion as government funding dwindled due to constrained public finances in the US and Eurozone.
Increased investment by private interests and cash-flush Asian countries partially compensated for the shortfall in government funding, presaging the increased importance of overseas and corporate players in the global clean energy sector.