Clean and renewable energy investment levels saw new heights in 2011, spurred by solar, but the outlook for 2012 is far less certain – especially within the Eurozone, says analyst Ernst & Young.
In its latest quarterly global renewable energy Country Attractiveness Indices report (CAI), Ernst & Young says the renewable energy sector will continue to prosper in 2012 in the emerging markets, however, thanks to ambitious installation programmes securing investments.
The sovereign debt crisis continues to stifle renewable energy investment in the Eurozone, along with Governments scaling back their ambitions for the sector. Simultaneously capital scarcity and increased competition from Asia will continue to put pressure on developed markets for the foreseeable future.
This could lead to consolidations in the wind and solar sectors and increased vertical integration, as equipment manufacturers seek ever more innovative routes to market.
There is no change at the top of this edition of the CAI. Yet, emerging markets are powering up the league table.
South Africa has moved up 7 places to 16th on the back of a very successful first round of a new tender bidding process, totalling 1.4 GW of new capacity. South Korea climbed a point to 14th across all technologies with Government backing for bold ambitions, especially in offshore wind.
Romania (13th) and Ukraine (32nd) also increased their appeal — mainly due to strong wind markets.
Another part of the world that holds great potential for renewable generation is the Middle East and North Africa — especially for solar power. Most of the countries already have operational pilot projects as well as ambitious plans for significantly sized installations.