Floating Wind Pushes France Up Renewables Attractiveness Ladder

France has moved up two positions and is now the third most attractive destination globally for investment in renewable energy due in part to a new focus on floating offshore wind.

This is according to the 53rd EY Renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI).

As reported earlier, France intends to issue offshore wind tenders with a combined capacity of up to 6GW by 2028, up to 3GW of which could potentially be floating wind capacity. The country has also approved several pilot floating wind projects

Globally, mainland China and the US remain at first and second positions respectively on the top 40 ranking.

The UK has retained its position as the eighth most attractive destination globally for investment in renewable energy, buoyed by the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, EY said.

The UK has unveiled plans for offshore wind to supply 30% of its electricity by 2030, up from just 6.2% in 2017. The Offshore Wind Sector Deal, unveiled in March, also aims to treble the number of people employed in the sector, to 27,000, by 2030.

By that date, the UK government is targeting 30GW of offshore wind, compared with 8.2GW by the end of last year.

Ben Warren, EY Global Power & Utilities Corporate Finance Leader and RECAI Chief Editor, said: “While the Offshore Wind Deal is extremely positive news for the UK renewables sector and will help to attract significant investment over the coming years, the announcement regrettably follows the withdrawal of support for onshore renewables in 2016 that has slowed UK sector growth.”

The global renewable energy industry is entering a new phase of subsidy-free growth, EY said. The latest edition of RECAI examines two related characteristics of this new landscape: how projects are grappling with new-found exposure to wholesale power prices and market imbalance – known as merchant risk – and the growing role of corporate energy buyers in underwriting clean energy projects.

“Europe has led the way with unsubsidised projects in areas with good renewable resources, and multiple projects across the Nordics, UK, and Spain are being developed – backed by private investment and corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) to provide the required stability,” Warren said.

“For the renewable energy market overall, however, a future without government subsidy is one that will no longer be vulnerable to sudden shifts in policy, or to retroactive changes to promised tariffs. It will be one where market forces impose discipline, drive efficiencies and accelerate the cost reductions that have allowed the sector to stand on its own two feet.”

Looking ahead, Warren said that the outlook for the global renewables sector remains extremely exciting.

”As renewable generation continues to become more and more affordable; increased levels of penetration are beyond doubt. It is perhaps the integration of renewables into the wider energy ecosystem, the sector’s contribution to the emerging low carbon e-mobility market and the integration with storage technology that will ultimately define the future for renewables,”  Warren said.

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