The UK has climbed three places to seventh position in the latest Renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI) following the market’s adaptation to subsidy-free solar PV, onshore wind projects and moves to repower old wind farms.

China tops the latest index compiled by EY for the third time consecutively, with the US and Germany overtaking India which falls from second to fourth position.

The Netherlands is a notable climber, while Taiwan has re-entered the bi-annual top 40 after a couple of years.

The report said after the closure of the RO scheme to all new generating capacity last year, it was widely expected that UK projects would be unable to compete but many projects are beginning to do so.

The report also highlights the potential that blockchain technology has to transform how renewable energy is managed and traded. Deployment of blockchain technology across the energy value chain is accelerating.

There are several applications that promise to supercharge the penetration of distributed clean energy technologies. Perhaps the most exciting one is the ability of blockchain to enable peer-to-peer trading of small volumes of renewable energy.

Experimenting with blockchain

Ben Warren, EY Global Power & Utilities Corporate Finance Leader and RECAI Chief Editor, says: “Companies need to start experimenting with blockchain, to start to understand its potential in their existing business and new applications. This understanding needs to take place at the highest level of the company, and not just be delegated to the IT department – blockchain has to be on the C-suite agenda.”

The Index also highlights the trend for rising protectionism across the renewable energy sector. India’s 2022 solar power target looks increasingly over-ambitious amid investor concerns in response to the threat of a 70% tariff on imported solar panels and unsustainably low power bids.

And in January this year the US imposed tariffs on imports of solar PV cells and modules set at 30%.

However, RECAI points to the resilience of the US market, which climbs from third to second position as the solar tariffs are mostly absorbed and wind projects are spared subsidy cuts in the Tax Reform Bill.

> Read the EY report here