Energy security concerns heighten government focus on renewable energy programs, KNEWS
- Emerging technologies and green fuels will be key to reducing global dependence on gas
- Floating wind and solar have the potential to become mainstream as demand increases for new renewable energy sources
Energy security has risen to the top of government priority lists following geopolitical instability and soaring gas prices. As a result, governments around the world are looking to accelerate and expand the scope of their renewable energy programs to help reduce dependence on imported energy according to the 59e EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI).
RECAI 59 explores how emerging renewable energy technologies and green fuels have the potential to significantly reduce the share of gas in electricity generation, creating a favorable investment climate for these sources of supply. In Europe, for example, the increase in liquefied natural gas (LNG) import capacity has accelerated, as has the increase in green gas production and the development of other alternative fuels. The report notes that while sourcing gas from elsewhere to reduce dependence on Russian gas cannot happen overnight, significant momentum is now evident.
The case of floating technologies
The report also explores the opportunity offered by floating technologies. Offshore wind continues to have great investment potential, with the cost of electricity generated expected to fall to US$70/MWh or less by 2030. In addition to the 11 floating offshore wind projects already in operation, more than 100 more – with a capacity of over 26,300 MW – are under construction, have achieved financial close or regulatory approval, or are in the early stages of planning.
Floating solar power is also gaining more attention as the cost of photovoltaic (PV) panels has fallen and global capacity has increased more than 100-fold in the five years to 2021. , freshwater bodies, where the environment is relatively controlled, but there are plans to move further offshore to exploit the much larger resources of the high seas.
While the US and China remain the top two markets based on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investments, there are several changes in the top 10 ranking with the UK (3rd) moved up two places, Germany (4e) progressed by three, and Spain (9e) and the Netherlands (10e) progressing by one place each.
Some of the markets highlighted for notable progress in this edition include Denmark (+4) – with a new target to produce up to 6 GW of hydrogen per year by 2030, Poland (+3) – having launched tenders for three new offshore wind concessions, Finland (+7) – having approved the introduction of an auction model to lease public waters for offshore wind development, Austria (+7) ) – where the government has pledged to provide 250 million euros ($264 million) to support the development of renewables, Greece (+3) – seeking to double its installed capacity of renewables to around 19 GW by 2030, and Germany (+3) – having advanced its goal of 100% green energy by 15 years to 2035.
Commenting on the findings of the report, Stavros Violaris, Associate Partner and Head of Sustainability at EY Cyprus, said: “The war in Ukraine has been a powerful reminder of the need to reduce dependence on natural gas. This gives further impetus to renewable energy technologies that can help diversify the energy mix and create an attractive investment climate, with increasing amounts of capital to deploy. Renewable technologies that were only recently considered new and high-risk, including floating technologies and green hydrogen, have the potential to become mainstream. This is a window of opportunity to take advantage of technological innovation that the industry must seize”.
For the full ranking of the top 40, as well as an analysis of the latest developments in renewable energy around the world, visit ey.com/recai.