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The United States kept the top spot ahead of China as the world’s most attractive country for renewables investment and deployment in EY’s latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) published on Tuesday.
The index, which EY publishes twice a year, saw the U.S. overtake China in its May report to become the world’s most attractive country for investments in renewable energy. At the time, the consultancy said that and the prospects for the U.S. renewables sector after the pandemic remained bright despite the setbacks during COVID-19.
In the newly published November rankings, India and the UK broke into the top five of the most attractive renewable markets, Australia moved up to third from fourth, while Germany and France slipped to sixth from fifth, and to seventh from third, respectively.
Apart from ranking the most attractive investment destinations for renewables, EY said on Tuesday that hydrogen and artificial intelligence (AI) could be critical to solving the problems of scaling up renewables.
The pandemic has pushed more and more governments and companies to look to the longer term and aim for net-zero emissions, including net-zero targets from several major international oil companies.
However, reaching net-zero will need more technologies and innovative solutions scaled up and more technologies to ensure a stable, reliable, and well-balanced electricity grid. According to EY, two key enablers could prove critical to this - hydrogen and AI.
Green hydrogen, in particular, produced via electrolysis with renewable-generated electricity, could help the decarbonization in countries with limited wind and solar resources, EY says. However, green hydrogen costs need to fall significantly and production efficiency needs to be improved. EY believes that subsidies are needed to bring the price of green and blue hydrogen in line with conventional fuels.
The other potential enabler of low-carbon energy could be AI, which could improve demand forecasting and asset management, thanks to its prediction capabilities, said Thierry Mortier, EY Global Digital & Innovation Lead for Energy.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.