Germany is the best place in the world to produce solar panels, and the US is the best place for making wind turbines, according to fDi’s inaugural Renewable Energy Investment Competitiveness Indices. China shows major promise in the sector too, topping the list for the total amount of renewable and waste electricity generated.

Industry benchmark

The indices are produced by fDi Benchmark, an online subscription database which benchmarks the cost and quality competitiveness of more than 300 countries and cities worldwide in more than 30 sectors.

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The Wind Power Quality Index is based on an assessment of 120 quality competitiveness indicators for a typical wind turbine manufacturing project, including wind power electricity generated; and the number of companies in the related industrial machinery, aerospace, automotive and electronics sectors.

The Solar Power Quality Index is based on an assessment of 120 quality competitiveness indicators for a typical solar panel manufacturing project, including solar photovoltaics and solar thermal electricity generated; and number of companies in the related electronics and semiconductor sectors.

Indice measurements

Both indices take into account such factors as: total renewable and waste electricity generated; specialisation and track record in environmental technologies; high-tech manufacturing exports, air, port, road and railway infrastructure quality; quality of electricity supply; size of the labour force; availability of engineers; education levels; labour productivity; hiring and firing flexibility; labour relations; foreign ownership restrictions; business costs of terrorism; and cost of establishing a business.