Canada is the ninth most attractive location in which to invest in renewable energy projects, according to Ernst & Young’s latest Renewable energy country attractiveness indices.
Canada retained ninth position out of 27 countries analyzed for their attractiveness for renewable energy infrastructure investment--increasing the score gap over Portugal and Ireland, both ranked tenth--driven by the stability and resilience of the Canadian financial system during the ongoing capital market challenges around the globe.
“Canada is holding firm while some others have slipped in an uncertain economic and regulatory environment,” said Stephen Lewis, leader of Ernst & Young’s Renewable Energy Advisory practice in Canada. “We’re seeing some significant activity that is increasing the share of renewables in Canada’s energy mix, but if we want to be seen as a market leader, more work will be required from all stakeholders in the industry.”
At a global level, Ernst & Young’s Renewable energy country attractiveness indices report that China invested a total of US$34.6 billion into its clean energy projects last year--almost double that of the US--and has now emerged as the world’s market leader in installed wind power capacity in 2009.
The top 10 all renewables index as of May 2010 includes the following countries:
1) United States 69
1) China 69
3) Germany 64
4) India 63
5) Italy 61
6) UK 61
7) France 58
8) Spain 57
9) Canada 53
10) Portugal and Ireland 51
According to the ranking, Canada is now only four index points behind eighth-placed Spain. The reduction of the score gap with Spain is driven by capital market concerns and proposed reductions to its solar incentives program, whereas Canada has made proactive improvements within its domestic market.
In Canada, a number of provinces are pursuing a “shift to green.” Ontario and British Columbia are prime examples: with recent policy in Ontario stimulating considerable activity across the renewable energy value chain, and British Columbia proposing a new Clean Energy Act, while BC Hydro has announced new power purchase agreements and further calls for projects.
The list of renewable energy companies that have invested in Ontario over the last nine months is impressive. It includes Quantum Technologies (Nasdaq: QTWW), Arise Technologies (TSX: APV), SunEdison (NYSE: WFR), Silfab, and Samsung (005930.KS).
As the federal government chose not to renew the ecoENERGY tax credit, the industry is hopeful that new policies will be enacted to support domestic renewable energy generation and innovation.
In order to further enhance Canada’s attractiveness to renewable energy investment, a number of actions can be taken, depending on stakeholder objectives, including the following:
- A drive within the public sector to become buyers of renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, which would help stimulate the market and support private sector innovation
- Government (provincial or federal) support for domestic manufacturing, through warranty backing or other guarantees
- Support for renewable energy through generation-based incentives within individual provinces, which would better facilitate energy infrastructure
Ernst & Young’s quarterly country attractiveness indices score countries’ renewable energy markets, renewable energy infrastructures and individual technology sustainability out of 100 points.