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Top Five Prime Nations for Renewable Energy Investment

feed-in tariff[social_buttons]There has been a rush of investment into renewable energy in recent years. In 2007, global wind energy capacity grew by 27% and solar energy sales grew an estimated 50%.

Offering insight into where future growth is likely to occur, Ernst & Young produced a report that follows a variety of indices including long-term wind, near-term wind, and all renewables.

Here are the top five prime nations for renewable energy investment:

1- United States

The U.S. has particularly high scores in the areas of onshore wind, solar, and infrastructure. The sheer size of the country provides an advantage with plentiful wind, solar, and agricultural resources. This high score is likely to decrease if the Production Tax Credit expires at the end of the year. Both presidential candidates however support a cap and trade system for carbon, creating another means to promote renewable energy.

2- Germany

Despite taking second place, Germany outscored the U.S. in the offshore wind, solar, and biomass/other categories. Legislation in Germany, including feed-in tariffs offers a strong market for renewable energy.

3- Indiawind energy capacity

Just behind Germany, India has a high score for onshore wind and infrastructure, but lags considerably behind the U.S. and Germany for offshore wind. India will see considerable growth in hydropower, with plans for 143 projects totally 20 GW of generation capacity.

4- Spain

The U.K. and Spain are tied for forth place. Spain scored well for onshore wind and solar energy, but much lower in offshore wind energy. The Spanish government recently boosted the solar industry by agreeing to subsidize the first 1,200 MW of solar capacity installed.

5- United Kingdom

The U.K. has the highest score in offshore wind energy, but had a weak score for solar energy. The requirement to generate 15% of electricity from elegible renewables by 2015 has fueled the renewable obligation certificates market.

Written by Sarah Lozanova

is passionate about the new green economy and renewable energy. Sarah's experience includes work with small-scale solar energy installations and utility-scale wind farms. She earned an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School and is a co-founder of Trees Across the Miles, an urban reforestation initiative. When she can escape the internet vortex, she enjoys playing in the forest, paddling down rivers, or twisting into yoga poses.

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