Britain moves up to fourth in E&Y's renewable energy ranking

LONDON Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:22am BST

1 of 2. Solar panels are seen in fields near Andover in southern England May 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Toby Melville

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has risen one place to fourth spot among the world's most attractive renewable energy markets after it released further details on how it will reward green energy generation in the future, Ernst & Young's (E&Y) latest quarterly ranking showed on Wednesday.

A global drive to cut greenhouse gas emissions through more use of green energy sources has spurred investment in renewable energy over the last decade and the quarterly rankings track this investment in 40 world markets.

The United States, China and Germany retained the top three spots in the latest report, while Britain overtook Australia to place fourth.

"The flurry of (UK) government announcements has been welcomed with a sigh of relief by the sector and contributed to the UK's improved position in our index," said Ben Warren, environmental finance leader at E&Y, in a statement accompanying the report.

In June, Britain published keenly awaited details on guaranteed electricity prices which various renewable energy technologies will receive through newly established "contracts for difference".

In E&Y's technology-specific ranking, Britain scored highest for offshore wind and ranked second for biomass after Germany.

Nevertheless, E&Y's Warren criticised Britain for failing to support power plants which use biomass only to produce electricity.

"The government's controversial move toward shale gas appears to be at the expense of biomass power, which arguably still has a critical role to play in expanding the UK's low-carbon base-load power," he said.

The British government earlier this year approved tax-break incentives to explore for shale gas and is banking on the unconventional gas to cut growing dependence on fuel imports.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by Jason Neely)

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