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UK back in top 10 most attractive countries to invest in renewable energy despite Brexit uncertainties

PUBLISHED: 08:39 16 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:39 16 May 2017

Community-run renweable energy schemes in the UK are producing enough power for 130,000 homes, according to a new report. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Community-run renweable energy schemes in the UK are producing enough power for 130,000 homes, according to a new report. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Archant © 2012

The UK has climbed back into the top 10 most attractive countries for investing in renewables, but uncertainty remains for the post-Brexit future, a report has said.

In the latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) report from EY, the UK has halted a slide which saw it fall from fourth place in 2013 to 14th in October 2016.

The UK’s investment environment is now more settled than it has been in previous years, when there were a series of subsidy cuts, but investors are still waiting for signs of what future support there will be for renewables, EY said.

While the UK is behind schedule to meet its European Union 2020 targets for renewable energy, coal power in the UK has declined to the point where Britain went a full day in April without electricity from the fossil fuel, and renewables have risen.

But EY said the improved standing for the UK is more down to other countries doing less well, “rather than any particularly encouraging resurgence”.

Ben Warren, head of energy corporate finance at EY, said: “The UK continues to underwhelm investors who are waiting to see if future UK policy will support and encourage the renewable energy industry towards a subsidy-free environment, where consumers can benefit from the UK’s excellent natural resources for renewable energy.

“Investors are still waiting for clarity around the post-Brexit landscape.

“Question marks linger around renewable energy targets, subsidies and connections with mainland power markets.”

But he added that the likelihood of getting answers to those questions before the UK left the EU were “slim”.

Elsewhere in the top 10, China and India overtook the US as the Asian countries continued major investment in renewables while the new US administration signalled a rapid shift in policies such as boosting coal and cutting climate action.

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