An EY report says Ireland is now the 12th most desirable place to invest in renewable energy, jumping six places in the rankings.
Efforts to overcome Ireland’s image as a “climate laggard” have helped propel the country up the rankings in the latest EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI). The new report has put Ireland as the 12th most desirable place to invest in renewables, six places higher than the last index.
Due to the economic impact of Covid-19, the 55th RECAI also aimed to examine the potential impact of the pandemic and the resilience of countries in the index when it comes to renewable energy.
EY Ireland’s government and infrastructure advisory director, Anthony Rourke, said the rise in the rankings for Ireland was, in part, the result of details provided by the Government on the Renewable Energy Support Scheme.
Under the scheme, the Government will hold auctions between 2020 and 2027 for the development of renewable energy projects, with the aim of making it more attractive to build and develop more wind, solar and other renewable initiatives. As a result, Rourke said EY predicts that Ireland’s renewable energy capacity will grow by 30pc over the next three years.
Power of large-scale batteries
“This will contribute to Ireland’s efforts to reach its 70pc renewable energy target by 2030 across the solar and onshore/offshore wind sectors. Ireland’s strong performance this year is also attributed to the significant 46pc reduction in the use of coal and oil in generating power since 2015,” he added.
“Plans for the [proposed Climate Action Bill] will set a target to decarbonise the economy by 2050 at the latest, published in the new programme for Government, should further support Ireland’s position in future rankings.”
The programme for Government, which was released this week, stated that incoming ministers will look to commit to a 7pc average annual reduction in greenhouse emissions between next year and 2030.
Looking globally, the RECAI has placed the US in the top spot for the first time since 2016, surpassing China. This is largely because of a short-term extension to the country’s production tax credit and long-term growth in offshore wind, with plans to invest $57bn to install up to 30GW by 2030. By contrast, China’s growth in renewables has slowed as government subsidies have been reduced, on top of decreased energy demands as a result of Covid-19.
Looking at technologies, EY’s analysts pointed to a significant ramping up in investments in large-scale batteries. According to the report, 12.6GWh of battery storage is planned to be installed this year – a record year for energy storage growth – and could reach 230GWh by 2025.