Ireland climbs rankings in global renewable energy development attractiveness

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

Ireland has climbed to the 12th position of the EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index.

The country has risen one place thanks to a series of positive renewable energy and related infrastructure developments at a time when a challenging global backdrop forthe offshore wind sector could change the way large-scale energy projects are built and funded in the future.

The index is EY’s biannual flagship global renewables report, which ranks the world’s top 40 markets based on the attractiveness of their investment in renewable energy and deployment opportunities.

Ireland’s position has improved since the last index in June 2023, which EY explains is driven by a number of factors, including the successful conclusion of the ORESS 1 offshore wind auction and a new memorandum of understanding with the UK to support offshore renewable energy.

 Ireland has also continued to expand its Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPA) market, climbing two places to rank 17th in the CPPA Index, reflecting an escalating trend in the use of these agreements in Ireland as major corporates continue to invest in renewable energy.

Globally, offshore wind project costs have risen by 40 per cent since 2019 and the next decade could see cost inflation adding around US$280 billion in capital expenditure for the sector.

This means that an estimated  80 per cent of the 15 markets with offshore wind targets for 2030 are predicted to miss their stated goals.

“It is really positive to see Ireland continuing to climb the global ranks in terms of attractiveness for renewable energy,” said Derarca Dennis, EY Ireland Sustainability Services Lead.

“The Renewable Energy Index also highlights a new memorandum of understanding with the UK to support offshore renewable energy.

“This collaboration, alongside a recent joint declaration of intent with France on energy transition co-operation, will further enhance our energy security and accelerate deployment of offshore renewables and energy systems.

“Those positive collaborative initiatives, combined with our ambitious national climate action policy put Ireland in a strong position in terms of this essential energy transition and is particularly relevant as we prepare for COP 28.”

The top three markets in the index remain unchanged, with the US in first position, fuelled by significant solar growth as a result of incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act.

Germany remains second, having experienced substantial growth in its onshore wind sector and, despite halting national-level subsidies, China continues its upward trajectory in offshore wind, maintaining its overall third position.

The Nordic countries continue to show their renewable energy intent, with Denmark, Sweden, and Norway climbing two, three, and five places respectively.

Poland scaled two places to 15th as it prepares to begin construction on its first offshore wind project, the 1.2GW Baltic Power offshore wind farm, which is expected to come online during 2026.

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