According to EY’s latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI), Romania is no more an attractive market to invest in renewable energy.
China and India are the most attractive countries for investments in renewable energy projects and have overtaken the U.S. in what comes as the country’s first fall in the ranking of the 40 top countries since 2015.
The reasons behind the downturn are identified in the report as a major shift in U.S. policy under the new administration, which has seen climate change dismissed as a hoax, undone some of the Obama-era environmental regulations, attempted to revive the coal industry and scrutinized the Clean Power Plan.
On the other hand, the index welcomed Kazakhstan (37), Panama (38) and the Dominican Republic (39) as newcomers, whose turn to economically viable renewable energy alternatives was prompted by security of supply concerns.
“We do not expect Romania to be on the global ranking of attractiveness after the end of the eligibility period for the support scheme for electricity from renewable sources and in the absence of a decision on possible support for the decentralized production, which would especially use solar panels on the roofs. Adopting an action plan to implement several support measures could also give a signal to investors, but the Romanian electric power system seems to need to digest the massive injection of uncontrollable production capacities put into service until December 31, 2016 before allowing a new expansion stage from a technical point of view,” Alexandru-Valeriu Binig, Partner in the Advisory Services practice, EY Romania, stated.
In the wake of the National Energy Administration (NEA) announcement in January 2017 that it would invest USD 363 billion in developing renewable power capacity by 2020, which would account for half of all new generating capacity and create 13 million jobs, China secured its No. 1 position in the RECAI ranking.
Furthermore, China plans to launch a pilot tradable green certificate program in July, which is set to reduce government subsidies and provide guarantees that electricity was generated from renewable sources, as it continues to make strides towards its 2020 clean energy targets, including cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 18 percent per unit of economic growth under the Paris Agreement.
In the RECAI rankings, India came in second, continuing its upward movement. Aiming for 175 GW in renewable energy generation, 100 GW of which is to be solar, by 2022 and 40 percent of renewable installed capacity by 2040, the country has already installed more than 10 GW of solar capacity in the last three years – starting from a low base of 2.6 GW in 2014.