Britain up to fourth in Ernst & Young renewable energy rankings

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A new report has placed Britain fourth in terms of renewable energy ranking, displacing Australia for the position.

The Ernst & Young report also shows the US, China and Germany retained their positions of making up the top three in its Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices (RECAI).

With cutting down greenhouse gas emissions at the forefront of many countries minds when it comes to the environment, there has been an ever-increasing investment in renewable energy over the last decade. The Ernst & Young report tracked such investment from a total of 40 different countries.

E&Y environmental finance leader, Ben Warren, said: "The flurry of (UK) government announcements has been welcomed with a sigh of relief by the sector and contributed to the UK's improved position in our index."

The news comes despite recent reports that some wind farms were only generating enough electricity to boil a few kettles at times, and some even needed to take electricity away from the National Grid instead of providing it.

There has also been an increase in hostility towards solar farms of late, but nevertheless the government has continued in its push for the creation of more sources of renewable energy in the UK as it looks to meet an EU quota of providing at least 15% of the country's energy supply from renewables by 2020.

However, many in the renewable energy industry feel things have not gone far enough, despite proposed contracts for difference, more powers for the Green Investment Bank and the Energy Bill also being confirmed.

Mr Warren added: "Much work is still needed to convert this patchwork of measures into a complete, balanced and strategic plan that will sustain activity in the long-term.

"After a long period of silence, the government is now playing catch-up with investors who are not short of opportunities in other countries.

"While these announcements come as a pleasant surprise, this is no time for complacency, as important pieces of the jigsaw are still missing if we want to produce an attractive framework."

In the home, the government has also encouraged people to cut down carbon emissions with a number of schemes including the Energy Company Obligation and Green Deal.

These initiatives allow homeowners to receive cashback or loans towards things designed to improve energy efficiency in the home, such as a new energy efficient boiler or loft insulation.

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