Q4 2006 Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices Out

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Ernst & Young’s Renewable Energy Group just released the Q4 ’06 update for its Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices (the document is not yet available on the website, but it should be soon). In the words of Ernst & Young,” the Country Attractiveness Indices provide scores for national renewable energy markets, renewable energy infrastructures and their suitability for individual technologies.” These indices thus provide useful information for investors wanting to assess the desirability of company exposure to certain markets. There are 3 indices (their names pretty much says what they are about): (a) the All Renewables Index, (b) the Long-term Wind Index, and (c) the Near-term Wind Index (this last index has a 2-year time horizon, and is useful in trying to assess near-term opportunities). There are no huge surprises to report on for Q4 2006. The US retains the top spot in all 3 indices, which is good news for many of our readers. One interesting thing I thought I would highlight is a short discussion in the Near-term Wind Index section on how certain Canadian provinces, most notably Quebec and British Columbia, have aggressive wind targets for 2007 that could create nice near-term opportunities. More specifically, Quebec is expected to put out RFPs for 2,000 MW of wind during the year…now that’s no joke. Other interesting excerpts from the report: “The US retains pole position in the All Renewables Index as investors take a long-term view that political support has now turned firmly in favour of renewable energy. Wind, biofuels and solar are now key growth areas as the Bush Administration seeks to lower the country’s dependence on foreign oil.” Of China, which ranked 6th on the All Renewables Index: “Its position in the Indices recognises the potential in terms of market size and growth potential, but also recognises that this is a complex market and that the requirement for local partnering and presence is a barrier to some investors.” “Renewables in India are becoming a major part of the country’s energy mix, and its position in the All Renewables Index [tied in 2nd place with Spain] is largely a result of a political environment that is friendly to foreigners and even friendlier to an Indian-based renewables industry. Renewables contributed some 7% of India’s electricity in 2006, generated from around 9.1GW of renewable capacity – two-thirds of which come from wind power and around 1GW from bioenergy power generation.

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