EY: Renewable energy sector is expected to bounce back quickly

Renewables are potentially a safer-haven for long-term investment
  • Climate change and environmental considerations drive higher investment in renewables
  • The US and Spain rise notably in the ranking, to #1 and #11 respectively

Press Release in Greek here.

Despite the global slowdown caused by COVID-19, the renewable energy sector is expected to bounce back quickly as the long-term drivers for investment remain strong, according to the 55th EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI). The latest index considers the potential impact of the pandemic, looking at the resiliency of countries in both health and economic terms.

The accompanying report highlights how climate change and other Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues are being increasingly recognized as key determinants of a company’s future value creation potential. Institutional investors are demanding that businesses not only deliver financial performance, but also show how they make a positive contribution to society. As a result, companies are having to re-evaluate their corporate strategies to curb their emissions, enhance their governance, and improve their climate-related disclosures. This has resulted in institutional investors increasing the capital they are allocating to renewable energy infrastructure as a means to hedge their climate exposure, according to our analysis.

For the first time since 2016, the US has secured the top position in the index. This is largely because of a short-term extension to the Production Tax Credit and long-term growth in offshore wind, with plans to invest US$57b to install up to 30GW by 2030. China’s growth in renewables has slowed, as the government looks to wean the market off subsidies towards a more competitive landscape. This, coupled with reduced demand as a result of COVID-19, has caused China to drop to second in the index, but forecasts remain optimistic for long-term growth. France has moved up from fourth position to third, securing strong power prices and awards of 1.4GW for wind and solar developers in its latest auction, as it gradually weans its grid off nuclear power.

The UK, ranked sixth, made a milestone proposal to re-include onshore wind and solar projects in the next contracts-for-difference auction, encouraging greater and more diverse renewable energy development. Spain improved by four positions to rank eleventh, despite being hit hard by COVID-19, as climate and energy policy remains a high priority for the new coalition government. It has set out aggressive but achievable plans to increase wind and solar, and most investors remain positive about Spain’s medium-term prospects.

The report examines how large-scale energy storage is critical to decarbonize electricity systems, as well as the conditions needed to encourage investment in utility-scale battery storage. As electricity grids decarbonize, vast amounts of energy storage will be needed, and utilities and developers are slowly ramping up investments in large-scale batteries. According to the report, 12.6GWh of battery storage is planned to be installed this year, making 2020 a record year for energy storage growth. And in the longer-term, a 13-fold increase in capacity growth, from around 17GWh currently to 230GWh by 2025, is anticipated.

Commenting on the report findings Christoforos Socratous, Partner and Energy Sector Leader of EY Cyprus, said: “As investors focus increasingly on Environmental, Social and Governance issues (ESG), and concerns about climate change increase, the objective of a sustainable long-term energy future is becoming more and more relevant. The focus is on wind, solar and storage, along with energy efficiency, smart power networks and low-carbon transport infrastructure. COVID-19 may intensify this trend as the lockdown has shown the need for taking actions to reduce fossil fuel consumption in order to reduce pollution levels. Stakeholders will continue to seek to collaborate and invest in companies where climate change and sustainable development is embedded in their strategy.”

For the complete top 40 ranking, as well as an analysis of the latest renewable energy developments across the world, visit ey.com/recai.

 
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Total number of coronavirus cases announced by Cyprus authorities exceeds 1000, three new confirmed on Saturday
Cyprus authorities announced on Saturday three new confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases after conducting 1,699 lab tests. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 1,002.
 
One of the persons found positive is Apollon FC football player Djordje Denic, who arrived to the island from Serbia three days ago and underwent a test at the football team’s initiative. The football club issued a press release announcing that the football player tested positive.
 
The other two cases concern people who came into contact with other two confirmed cases announced on June 29 and June 30, as they work with them. The first person found positive, out of these four cases, had come to Cyprus from the US.  The tests for the two persons announced as positive cases today were carried out at the initiative of the company which employees them.
 
A press release issued by the Ministry of Health said that all three positive cases announced on Saturday were detected out of 329 lab tests carried out at the private initiative.  
 
Moreover no positive cases were detected from 157 lab tests carried out in the framework of the programme for checking 10,000 employees who went back to work during phase B and C of easing restrictive measures, from 24 lab tests completed as part of the contact tracing programme, from 834 samples taken from passengers and repatriates, from 97 tests carried out by the Microbiological Labs of  the General Hospitals and from 249 lab tests completed as part of referrals from personal doctors and special groups screening through the public health centres.
 
One patient is currently being treated at Famagusta General Hospital which is the Covid-19 Reference Hospital.

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