Canada ranks among top 10 locations for renewable energy investment: Ernst &
Young

Shift to green providing economic stimulus to Canada's provinces

TORONTO, July 21 /CNW/ - Canada is the ninth most attractive location in which to invest in renewable energy projects, according to Ernst & Young's latest Renewable energy country attractiveness indices.

Canada retained ninth position out of 27 countries analyzed for their attractiveness for renewable energy infrastructure investment - increasing the score gap over Portugal and Ireland, both ranked tenth - driven by the stability and resilience of the Canadian financial system during the ongoing capital market challenges around the globe.

"Canada is holding firm while some others have slipped in an uncertain economic and regulatory environment," said Stephen Lewis, leader of Ernst & Young's Renewable Energy Advisory practice in Canada. "We're seeing some significant activity that is increasing the share of renewables in Canada's energy mix, but if we want to be seen as a market leader, more work will be required from all stakeholders in the industry."

At a global level, Ernst & Young's Renewable energy country attractiveness indices report that China invested a total of US$34.6 billion into its clean energy projects last year - almost double that of the US - and has now emerged as the world's market leader in installed wind power capacity in 2009.

The top 10 all renewables index as of May 2010 includes the following countries:

    
    1)  United States      69       6)  UK                    61
    1)  China              69       7)  France                58
    3)  Germany            64       8)  Spain                 57
    4)  India              63       9)  Canada                53
    5)  Italy              61      10)  Portugal and Ireland  51
    

According to the ranking, Canada is now only four index points behind eighth-placed Spain. The reduction of the score gap with Spain is driven by capital market concerns and proposed reductions to its solar incentives program, whereas Canada has made proactive improvements within its domestic market.

In Canada, a number of provinces are pursuing a "shift to green." Ontario and British Columbia are prime examples: with recent policy in Ontario stimulating considerable activity across the renewable energy value chain, and British Columbia proposing a new Clean Energy Act, while BC Hydro has announced new power purchase agreements and further calls for projects.

As the federal government chose not to renew the ecoENERGY tax credit, the industry is hopeful that new policies will be enacted to support domestic renewable energy generation and innovation.

In order to further enhance Canada's attractiveness to renewable energy investment, a number of actions can be taken, depending on stakeholder objectives, including the following:

    
    -   A drive within the public sector to become buyers of renewable energy
        and energy efficiency technology, which would help stimulate the
        market and support private sector innovation
    -   Government (provincial or federal) support for domestic
        manufacturing, through warranty backing or other guarantees
    -   Support for renewable energy through generation-based incentives
        within individual provinces, which would better facilitate energy
        infrastructure
    

Ernst & Young's quarterly country attractiveness indices score countries' renewable energy markets, renewable energy infrastructures and individual technology sustainability out of 100.

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 144,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

For more information, please visit ey.com/ca.

Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients.

SOURCE EY (Ernst & Young)

For further information: For further information: Melissa Prince, melissa.prince@ca.ey.com, 416 943 3474; Brooke Morris, brooke.morris@ca.ey.com, 604 899 3597; Julie Fournier, julie.fournier@ca.ey.com, 514 874 4308


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