China is still the world leader in its renewable energy market and investment, according to a report published today by Ernst & Young.
China’s wind and solar markets are still experiencing growth, the report says, with the country’s total installed wind capacity growing by 64 percent in 2010 and reaching over 42 gigawatts.
The United States is China’s closest rival in the renewable energy race, the report also finds, citing the one-year extension of the renewable energy grant program during the lame-duck session of Congress.
Though the Ernst & Young report says that U.S wind power installation pales in comparison to that of China, with 2010 numbers less than a third of China’s, it notes President Obama’s State of the Union target of 80 percent clean energy by 2035 as a good signal for the future of the market.
The Ernst & Young Country Attractiveness Indices are updated quarterly, ranking the renewable markets by country and technologies. On a global basis, the report finds that while clean-energy investment reached new highs in 2010, the fragile economic environment is still holding back some countries and technologies.
The report also takes note of the effectiveness of carbon-trading mechanisms in established economies, saying that they encourage heavy energy users to diversify their supply away from fossil fuels.
"Where energy policy is less directly linked to job growth in the clean energy sector, we are finding Governments and policy-setters increasingly focused on delivering a low carbon economy in the most affordable manner, possibly at the cost of longer-term economic value,” Ben Warren, Ernst & Young's U.K. environment and energy infrastructure advisory leader, said in a statement.