The UK has dropped out of the top ten of a renewable energy index for the first time in the 12 year history of the publication.

The EY index measures the attractiveness of a country to investment in renewable energy based on policies and geographical factors. The UK has dropped three places in the rankings since June.

Ben Warren, energy corporate finance leader at EY, told the Guardian:

We seem to be having very reactionary policies being made almost in isolation of any evidence.

Investors looking at the UK are scratching their heads. The government is saying on one hand that they’re trying to reduce the cost of energy for working families but on the other hand saying they want to go for shale gas and CCS which are unproven markets, new nuclear build and offshore wind which are substantially more expensive than renewables such as on onshore wind and solar PV.

Investors don’t know what the government is trying to achieve.

The government has recently blocked a £3.5bn offshore wind farm near Bournemouth.

A spokesperson for the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change said:

We’re taking urgent action to address the projected overspend on subsidies for renewables and protect bill payers. Government support has driven down the cost of renewable energy significantly.

As costs continue to fall and we move towards sustainable electricity investment, it becomes easier for parts of the renewables industry to survive without subsidies.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Obama’s clean energy policies have seen the country overtake China in the rankings.

Aspen, Colorado has also this week become the third city in the country to receive all of its power from renewable sources.

One-third of American coal plants have been shuttered over the last six years and new legislation means that no new coal plants may ever be constructed in the country.

David Hornbacher, Aspen’s Utilities and Environmental Initiatives Director, told the Aspen Times:

We’ve demonstrated that it is possible. Realistically, we hope we can inspire others to achieve these higher goals.

Food for thought.

(Picture: Ben Gurr-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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