EU, U.S. clean energy support under threat -HSBC

Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:57pm GMT

* EU austerity measures may lead to "green" support retreat

* U.S. faces climate bill uncertainty, lower gas prices

LONDON, June 21 (Reuters) - New austerity measures threaten support for renewable energy but some cleantech stocks have been over-sold, HSBC analysts said on Monday.

Governments last year agreed a global stimulus to kick-start the global economy, including about $500 billion for clean energy and infrastructure, but rhetoric had shifted towards austerity ahead of this week's G20 summit. [ID:nLDE65I0AM]

Renewable energy incentives were under threat especially in key demand markets, the United States and the European Union, despite long-term support for carbon curbs and energy security -- rhetoric given new impetus by the BP (BP.L: Quote) Gulf oil spill.

"Regulatory risk is on the rise again and regulatory uncertainty has led to very poor wind and solar share price performance year to date," said the report, "Carbon default - real or imagined?".

Many low-carbon, renewable sources of electricity require government support to be competitive with fossil fuels, incentives now at risk especially where funded by public treasury rather than passed to consumers. [ID:nLDE64I25Y]

The BP oil spill may drive support for a U.S. clean energy bill, but the shape of that was unsure and time "rapidly running out" for passage before November mid-term elections.   Continued...

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