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China, U.S. Keep Renewable Investment Top Spots

China and the United States have maintained the top two places in Ernst & Young’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index.

The Chinese government has announced in the last quarter that it will hold tenders for 2GW of projects to reach its target of 5GW of offshore power by 2015. But the country needs to invest in its grid reliability and transmission access for onshore wind projects in remote locations, Ernst & Young says.

With President Obama and the Democratic party continuing to push for a clean energy standard, the debate for support for the renewable energy sector continues apace in the U.S., according to E&Y. But support for the sector is looking more fragile as a variety of loans and grants for clean energy projects emanating from the 2009 fiscal stimulus package are set to expire at the end of the year.

In the lower half of the quarterly ranking – which rates countries’ relative attractiveness for renewable energy investment – Romania is the biggest climber, jumping from 21st place to 16th.

The former eastern-bloc country has just seen its Green Certificate program approved by the European Commission. E&Y expects the initiative to stimulate significant development in onshore wind power development.

Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index can be read here.

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