By Gary Thomas
Ernst & Young has released the recent quarterly global renewable energy report, Country Attractiveness Indices (CAI). The report offers scores in 40 countries for nationwide renewable energy markets, infrastructures and their appropriateness for individual technologies. According to the report, the investment flows in clean energy sector during the first quarter of 2012 were the weakest since the year 2009.
Gil Forer, Global Cleantech Leader at Ernst & Young, explained that the growth of the wind sector in China continues to be suppressed due to inadequate access to the grid, whereas a boom situation seems to have returned to the U.S. The grid challenges and tariff cuts have decreased short-term attractiveness on Italy and Germany. In India, a major tax break incentive is expected to reduce wind energy sector growth during 2012. In the Q1 2012, the global renewable energy transactions reached US$21.7 billion, which represents a 41% increase from the fourth quarter of 2011. Particularly, energy and biomass from waste sectors transactions increased 40% on Q1 2011.
Ernst & Young conducted a worldwide survey of 100 US$1 billion plus companies that operated within energy intensive markets to find the major strategic issues faced by them. Among the participants, 38% expect increase in energy costs by 15% or more over the next five years. Increasing energy self-generation, greater usage of renewable energy and energy efficiency are the factors that drive corporate energy mix strategies to lessen rising energy costs.
Several businesses across the world deploy a wide range of technologies to achieve energy efficiency goals, including 47% rely on energy demand management, 20% on building energy management systems, 18% on energy-efficiency lighting and 18% on building automation. In addition, 41% of respondents reported the use of some form of clean energy with controlled sources, such as bioenergy, wind and solar.