China leads the most recent Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) with the United States and Germany in second and third places, respectively.

China has been in the top spot the past three years. The United States and German supplant India in the rankings, which is now fourth.

RECAI is published biannually and ranks 40 countries based on their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities. In its 53rd edition and 17th year, the most recent RECAI shows how the industry is moving to a subsidy-free growth model throughout the world. EY, formerly Ernst Young, is a global research firm based in London.

The most recent RECAI also shows that the UK and Netherlands climbed to seventh and ninth spots. An expansion of renewables in Netherlands helped the country climb from 15th to ninth position since the last Index was published in October 2017.

Another country of note: For the first time in two years, Taiwan re-entered the ranking at 31st place. The Taiwanese government announced that seeks to go nuclear-free and wants to increase renewables to 20 percent by 2025.

The report highlighted how the growing trend of protectionism in the renewable energy sector can affect the marketplace. One example: India may not be able to meet its 2022 solar power target with the impending threat of a 70 percent tariff on imported solar panels.

“Government subsidies for clean power are being reduced around the world and financiers are anticipating tougher times ahead for project developers,” says Ben Warren, EY Global Power & Utilities Corporate Finance Leader and RECAI Chief Editor. “However, movements in the Index suggest that these developments are just headwinds as the renewable energy sector continues to mature and markets expand.”

RECAI also examined the increasing trend for many oil and gas companies to invest in low-carbon energy. The Index points to concerns around climate change and the rise of electric vehicles (EVs) as driving long-term investments in renewable energy, the pace of transition among oil majors remains uncertain.

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