5 Top Countries for Renewable Energy Investment

There has been a rush of investment into renewable energy in recent years. In 2007, global wind energy capacity grew by 27% and solar energy sales grew an estimated 50%.
Ernst & Young produced a report that offers insight into where future growth is likely to occur by examining a variety of indices including long-term wind, near-term wind, and all renewables.
The top five prime nations for renewable energy investment are:

1- United States
The U.S. has particularly high scores in the areas of onshore wind, solar, and infrastructure. The sheer size of the country provides an advantage with plentiful wind, solar, and agricultural resources. The U.S. is in second place for installed wind energy capacity and in forth place for total installed solar pv capacity in 2007.
This high score is likely to decrease if the Production Tax Credit expires at the end of the year. Both presidential candidates however support a cap and trade system for carbon, creating another means to promote renewable energy.
2- Germany

Despite taking second place, Germany outscored the U.S. in the offshore wind, solar, and biomass/other categories. Legislation in Germany, including feed-in tariffs guaranteed rate for electricity generated from solar energy. Germany was the leading nation for both wind energy and solar capacity and became the leading solar pv producer in 2007.
3- India
Just behind Germany, India has a high score for onshore wind and infrastructure, but lags considerably behind the U.S. and Germany for offshore wind. India will see considerable growth in hydropower, with plans for 143 projects totally 20 GW of generation capacity. India has the fourth highest capacity for wind energy.
4- Spain
The U.K. and Spain are tied for forth place. Spain scored well for onshore wind and solar energy, but much lower in offshore wind energy. The Spanish government recently boosted the solar industry by agreeing to subsidize the first 1,200 MW of solar capacity installed. Spain ranked 2nd after Germany for new solar pv installations in 2007. Spain ranks third, just behind the U.S. for total installed wind energy capacity.
5- United Kingdom
The U.K. has the highest score in offshore wind energy, but had a weak score for solar energy. The requirement to generate 15% of electricity from eligible renewables by 2015 has fueled the renewable obligation certificates market.
Photo Credit (bottom photo): Kiril Lozanov of Solar Service Inc. of Niles, IL

Sarah Lozanova is a green copywriter and communications professional specializing in renewable energy and clean technology. She is a consultant for Sustainable Solutions Group and a regular contributor to environmental and energy publications and websites, including Mother Earth Living, Home Power, Earth911, and Green Builder. Her experience includes work with small-scale solar energy installations and utility-scale wind farms. She earned an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School and she resides in Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage in Midcoast Maine.

21 responses

  1. This is a list of where Ernst & Young speculate are the best places for renewable energy investment not overall installations. China was #6 on the list.

  2. So what are the top 5 for wind energy? Germany, USA, India, Spain and what? China?
    You know China being anywhere near the top 5 in any renewable energy source is surprising. Doesn’t China rely mostly on coal? I haven’t seen a single windmill here, and the only renewable source I’ve seen is a small scale dam powering a town and a scenic route up a mountain. That and the three gorges dam, of course, but still…

  3. Canada doesn’t rely too heavily on solar or wind. They do however derive 61% on their energy from renewable hydro.
    The rest is mainly nuclear. Despite having the 2nd largest oil reserves in the world, they do not depend on it for power.

  4. Does it mean that the 5 countries will be also intresting for investments in alternative fuel, Ethanol and bio fuels in genaral?
    Where can I find info about countries that invest a great deal in finding sub’s for Oil products ?

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  6. I really appreciate Germany. I'm not from this country, but I just can't imagine how those people live there! They take care of renewable sources to make energy and the population agree with it! I know that the U.S.A are investing in renewable energy, but we all know that they are the most polluent contry in the world and that these plants aren't even working, and if they are , this energy only worths to make people's water hot. And the energy from Germany goes all to buildings, houses and to lampposts. Congratulations, Germany! The world is saying thanks!

    1. i am a german living in the UK and have to say i am proud of my country’s decision to abandon nuclear energy – a source of power which is not only dangerous to run but also leaves nuclear waste for milennia. There is huge investment into renewable energies – almost 20 % of our energy is coming from them .. the price is higher costs for energy, huge restructuring within the electricity companies (and joblosses), a lot of money for new infra structure needed (all the wind energy is produced in the north, but the energy consuming industries are in the west and southwest), yet germans are prepared to pay that price. incredible !

  7. I am very, very pleased to discover that the U.S. is number one on the list. Proof that we’re not just a bunch of greedy warmongers. Sorry Canada! With fossil fuels becoming more and more scarce, it is imperative that this and other similar (e.g., organic farming) trends continue.

    1.  well the list is best ‘prime’ area not highest percent for using said renewable (number one would probably go to iceland and canada would probably be on that list… well at least quebec) , united states has the ‘ideal’ climate for many forms of renewable energy, not the actual infrastructure to utilize it.

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