The UK has fallen out of the top ten in Ernst & Young’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) for the first time in the ranking’s history with the advisory firm alleging that the government has sentenced the renewables industry to “death by a thousand cuts”.

In the 12 years that the EY has been publishing the quarterly report, the UK has always been in the top ten but has fallen from eighth to eleventh in the latest edition after a raft of policy changes.

“The measures – some proposed and some mandated – have left many perplexed as to what the future now holds for a renewables sector that has already been plagued by uncertainty and policy U-turns over the past two years, increasing the likelihood of an investor exodus from the UK energy market,” the report warns adding that “the Government has sentenced the UK renewables sector to death by a thousand cuts”.

Ben Warren, EY’s global power and utilities corporate finance leader and the report’s editor said: “Policy changes still have an immense impact on renewable energy deployment and the RECAI movements reveal some policymakers are listening to market signals more than others.

“In today’s world, where the majority of the population is facing some form of energy crisis, public support for low-carbon energy solutions and the increasingly compelling economics, flexibility and scalability of renewables cannot be ignored. Policymakers must recognise the strategic imperative of a diverse energy mix to help address economic and societal goals, as well as environmental ones,” he added.

A report published this week by the REA estimated that the cost of the UK policy changes in lost tax revenue and additional welfare payments could be close to £100 million.