China Increasingly Attractive for Renewable Energy Investment

China has remained the most attractive destination for clean energy investment for a full year, followed by the U.S., according to the most recent Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices compiled by consulting firm Ernst & Young. The report showed China increasing its rating from 71 to 72 on a 100-point scale last quarter, followed by the U.S. unchanged at 67. As Bloomberg reports, the report attributed China’s gain to its increased focus on offshore wind and concentrated solar power, in addition to new renewable energy targets in its 12th Five Year Plan.

But the U.S. still has the ability to facilitate a global transition to low-carbon energy by drawing on its advantage as a center of innovation, according to Microsoft founder and clean energy advocate Bill Gates and other prominent business leaders. Gates, speaking in Seattle last month, said that the government must provide more support for basic research and development.

In doing so, the U.S. stands to reap significant financial rewards. The Ernst & Young report follows one released by the Pew Charitable Trusts last month showing the size of the global clean energy opportunity, measured in private investments in clean energy that flowed into G-20 countries during 2010. “Globally, 2010 clean energy finance and investments grew by 30 percent to a record $243 billion,” according to a press release. The Pew study listed the top three destinations for clean energy private investment as China, Germany, and the U.S., which received $54.4 billion, $41.2 billion, and $34 billion in equity last year, respectively.

Image courtesy of twicepix and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License.