UK’s renewable investment appeal dips amid Brexit fears, says EY

The UK has slipped down one position to eighth in the latest EY Renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI), following a “marked slowdown” in clean energy investment ahead of the planned departure from the EU.

EY cited concerns from many in the renewable energy industry that a failure to secure a Brexit deal could lead to an increase in uncertainty for the power sector.

The report found third quarter renewables investment fell 46% year-on-year in the UK amid speculation around how the outcome of Brexit will impact power exports to the EU and price of imported equipment. The authors added that there are few positives to draw from the latest Budget as the current government seems to be committed to significant spending on new roads, whereas there was little to encourage investment in renewables or low carbon transport.

Ben Warren, EY’s global power and utilities corporate finance leader and RECAI chief editor, says: “An uncertain world market has characterised the latest Index, with some of the majors waiting to see how geopolitical fortunes play out – including Brexit and ongoing trade hostility. In China, this has been exacerbated by decreased demand and moves to slow renewables growth, which creates a surplus of low-price solar panels. But while leading markets are reluctant to make decisive moves in this climate, the inertia will likely be temporary as the renewable energy sector continues to mature.”

Now in its 16th year, the bi-annual RECAI report ranks 40 countries on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities.

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