Offshore wind sector ‘boosts UK’s renewable energy investment case’ – EY

Favourable offshore wind regimes make US, China and UK top spots for renewables investment, says EY

The UK has nearly 10.5GW of operational offshore wind capacity, according to Windpower Intelligence (pic credit: Ørsted)
The UK has nearly 10.5GW of operational offshore wind capacity, according to Windpower Intelligence (pic credit: Ørsted)

The UK has jumped to third place in EY’s six-monthly ‘renewable energy country attractiveness index’ (Recai), largely on the back of its highly attractive offshore wind sector, rated the most attractive globally. 

The long-running survey (this is edition 59) rates how attractive countries are as an investment destination for individual renewable technologies and for renewables overall. The UK’s strong showing in wind has helped it rise from eighth place in 2019 and fifth just six months ago. 

EY cited the ScotWind seabed leasing auction – in which sites were awarded capable of supporting nearly 25GW of offshore wind capacity – was a key factor in the UK climbing the Recai ranking.

Overall, the US and China retained first and second place, respectively, where they have been for more than two years, also secured partly by strong offshore wind sectors. The US was second only to the UK as an attractive offshore wind destination, while China was third.

Germany stepped up to fourth place in the overall rankings on the back of a new, more ambitious green energy target – renewable energy meeting 80% of electricity demand by 2030 – which meant France slipped by one place from fourth to fifth, despite the latter’s plans for 100GW of solar and 40GW of offshore wind

India had a significant fall from third to seventh place, which EY explained was because India’s wind sector is struggling to match explosive growth in solar and is unlikely to hit its 60GW installation target by 2022.

Among the other countries making significant progress was Finland, which leapt seven places from 31 to 24. EY attributed that to Finnish government approval of an auction model to lease out public waters for offshore wind, a process due to start in 2023/24.

In its analysis, EY named floating wind as a key technology to meet future ambitious targets. It said that along with floating solar it was several years away from being a mainstream option, “but — as the cost of power soars — an attractive investment climate is forming that could put them on the fast track to wide scale adoption”.

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