UK slips to sixth in Ernst & Young renewable energy rankings

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The UK has slipped down to sixth in the latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices (RECAI), leading to a stark warning on the issue of policy 'tinkering' damaging the country's clean energy investment.

It is the first time the UK has fallen out of the top five of the quarterly review conducted by Ernst & Young since 2012, with the US, China, Germany, Japan and now Canada all ranking above it.

Ernst & Young environmental finance leader, Ben Warren, said: "Policy tinkering and conflicting signals once again become too much for investors and developers to handle."

He warned the UK Government's decision to freeze its carbon price floor and the pledge by the Conservative Party to effectively ban any new wind farms after 2020 would have serious repercussions on the country's renewable energy sector and its future outlook.

The report from the consultancy giant is designed to track country's across the world's investment in renewable energy over the last decade. In total, it tracks such investment from 40 different countries.

It also criticised a move by the government to conduct further consultations into the solar sector and financial support of solar farms, just as solar energy seemed to be picking up force as one of the "cheapest, cleanest and most popular forms of energy in the UK".

Mr Warren added: "As ever with the renewables sector, more damaging than the outcome of any review itself, is the uncertainty it creates and the trust it erodes.

"This last quarter has been no exception, with little done to foster sympathy from the renewable energy sector, which appears to be continuously caught in the firing line."

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman defended the progress of the UK's renewable energy sector however, declaring the UK remained "one of the world's most attractive places to invest in renewable energy"

He said: "UK renewables investment increased last year, with one-quarter of EU investment coming to Britain in 2013 – while investment across the EU halved over the same period.

"This government is committed to increasing the deployment of cost-effective renewable energy as part of a diverse, low-carbon and secure energy mix."

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