UK clean energy investment rankings rise after government sets 95% low-carbon electricity target for 2030

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EY published its Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) every six months since 2003, the 59th edition of which appears today (May 24). The United Kingdom has moved from fifth to third place in this edition and is only beaten by China and the United States, which have occupied the first two places for several years.

Several major political decisions and movements in the private sector have contributed to the increase in the attractiveness of the United Kingdom, the report says. More recently, the Energy Security Strategy set an ambition for 95% of UK electricity generation to be low carbon by 2030, rising to 100% by 2035. Nuclear, Renewables and reduced natural gas are classified as low carbon by the government in this case.

To help achieve this overall goal, new ambitions have been set for the UK to host at least 50GW of offshore wind capacity, of which up to 5GW should be floating, by 2030; and for the UK to host 10GW of green and blue hydrogen production by 2030. Less has been said in terms of support for onshore wind and solar, but EY said investors are encouraged by proposals to simplify the planning process for many types of renewable energy. .

On offshore wind, the April Energy Security Strategy was published three months after Crown Estate Scotland confirmed successful bidders at the 2022 ScotWind auction, which marked the first time in more It’s been a decade since parcels of Scotland’s seabed have been auctioned off to renewable energy developers. 17 products totaling 24.8 GW were selected. This has given a major boost to the industry and its supply chains.

EY also said the UK’s decision to relax planning rules for battery energy storage projects, taken in 2020 in a bid to shield the sector from the economic impacts of Covid-19, has made the UK United an attractive market for investors in energy storage. Figures released last month by RenewableUK revealed that the UK’s energy storage pipeline, in terms of battery capacity, is now twice as large as it was at the same time of year last – 32.1 GW. Many of these projects received subsidies in National Grid’s latest capacity auction, at record highs of 1.1GW across 107 projects.

“As governments look to move away from natural gas, this creates an attractive investment climate for broader and deeper renewable energy programs,” said RECAI editor Ben Warren.

Other countries to have moved up the rankings for this edition of RECAI include Finland and Austria, both of which moved up seven places. Finland’s success is largely attributed to the introduction of an auction model for offshore wind, according to which the first auction will take place during the 2023-2024 fiscal year. As for Austria, the nation decided in March to support the global ambition to provide a 100% renewable electricity supply by 2030 with funding of 250 million euros for wind and solar.

Elsewhere in Europe, Denmark’s RECAI position rose four places. Greece, Germany and Poland each move up three places.

The United States and China respectively maintained their places at the top of the ranking.

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