China and India have surpassed the USA at the top of the latest EY Renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI). The fall to third in the ranking of the top 40 countries follows a marked shift in US policy under the new administration. 

The report identifies the US Government's executive orders to rollback many of the past administration's climate change policies, revive the US coal industry and review the US Clean Power Plan as key downward pressures on renewable investment attractiveness.
In China, the National Energy Administration (NEA) announced in January 2017 that it will spend US$ 363 billion developing renewable power capacity by 2020. This investment will see renewables account for half of all new generating capacity and create 13 million jobs, according to the NEA plan. China also plans to launch a pilot tradable green certificate program in July 2017 for project operators to prove they have generated clean power and sell to consumers. The country has also committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 18% per unit of economic growth by 2020 under the Paris Agreement.

India continued its upward trend in the index to second position with the Government's program to build 175GW in renewable energy generation by 2022 and to have renewable energy account for 40% of installed capacity by 2040. The country has added more than 10GW of solar capacity in the last three years – starting from a low base of 2.6GW in 2014.

Economically viable renewable energy alternatives coupled with security of supply concerns are encouraging more countries to support a clean energy future. Kazakhstan (37), Panama (38) and the Dominican Republic (39) have all entered the index for the first time.