China Overtakes U.S. in Renewable Investing

America Falls from Top Spot in Energy Rankings

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted September 9, 2010

Thanks in no small part to our inability to pass comprehensive energy legislation, China has pulled ahead of the United States in the race to become the most attractive country for renewable energy investment.

In a list released by accounting firm Ernst and Young, China ranked first out of 27 countries, with the United States dropping to number two.

Rounding out the top ten were Germany, India, Italy, the UK, France, Spain, Canada, and Portugal.

The index provides scores for each country on renewable energy markets and infrastructures and the nations' suitability for individual technologies. Regulations, available land, planning barriers subsidies, access to the power grid, and access to capital all factor into the final scoring.

According to the report, China outspent the United States almost two to one in clean energy projects.

The communist nation has also emerged as the world leader in installed wind power capacity, while the U.S. has languished — falling to its lowest installed capacity since 2007.

China also improved her position with plans to standardize grid connection procedures for wind projects.

“China has all the benefits of capital, government will, and it’s a massive market,” Ben Warren, Ernst & Young’s environment and energy infrastructure advisory leader, told Bloomberg.

“We would expect to see China retaining a dominant position.”

While China's prospects are still on the rise, the United States has been treading water, at best. With Congress mired in paralyzing partisan bickering, and President Obama quickly running out of political capital, energy legislation has slipped through the cracks yet again.

“What we’re seeing in the U.S. is a continued resistance to committing to long-term visible and transparent support for the sector,” Warren added.

That resistance is catching up to us... And it will only widen the gap between China and the United States.

We'll continue to cede investment dollars and green jobs to the Chinese until we wake up and get serious about renewable energy legislation.

You can read the complete report here.