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China Now Leads in Clean Energy Investments

Will new Obama proposals help U.S. regain lead?

by on Mar.30, 2011

As President Barack Obama exhorts Americans to get behind a coherent energy policy, a new study shows the U.S. falling  behind in the race to develop new, clean sources of energy, according to a new study by Pew Charitable Trusts.

Last year, clean energy investment across the globe grew by 30%, to $243 billion last year, with China continuing to solidify its position as the world’s clean energy leader by investing a record $54.4 billion in 2010.

China’s investment represented a 39% increase from 2009, the new Pew Study said.  Germany was second in the G-20, up from third last year, after experiencing a 100% increase in investment, to $41.2 billion.

“The clean energy sector is emerging as one of the most dynamic and competitive in the world, witnessing 630% growth in finance and investments since 2004,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew’s Clean Energy Program.

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“Countries like China, Germany and India were attractive to financiers because they have national policies that support renewable energy standards, carbon reduction targets and/or incentives for investment and production and that create long-term certainty for investors,” she said.

The United States, which had maintained the top spot until 2008, dropped another rung in 2010 to third, with $34 billion invested.

In a speech at Georgetown University, President Obama Wednesday outlined some of the steps he hopes to take as part of a new U.S. energy policy, some of them devoted to clean energy – including a switch to alternative power for the entire federal motor vehicle fleet – a total of 600,000 cars, trucks and crossovers – by 2015. (For more on the Obama energy plan, Click Here.)

The United Kingdom experienced the largest decline among the G-20, falling from fifth to 13th. The report suggests that uncertainty surrounding clean energy policies in these countries is causing investors to look elsewhere for opportunities.

Italy attracted $13.9 billion in clean energy financing last year, improving its global standing to fourth, up from eighth in 2009. Italy is the first country to achieve grid parity, or cost-competitiveness, for solar energy. For the first time, India joined the top 10 ranking, attracting $4 billion, a 25% increase.

Wind power continued to be the favored technology for investors at $95 billion. However, the solar sector experienced significant growth in 2010, with investments growing 53% to a record $79 billion and more than 17 gigawatts of new generating capacity globally. Germany accounted for 45% of global solar investments.

“Looking at global trends, the solar sector experienced the strongest growth among the various technologies, led by small-scale residential projects,” said Michael Liebreich, CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Pew Charitable Trust also reported it had recruited former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who will lead a campaign for a national clean energy policy that promotes and funds research and manufacturing for the wind, solar and advanced battery industries in the U.S.

 

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One Response to “China Now Leads in Clean Energy Investments”

  1. jlowe51 says:

    It’s no surprise that we are third with Republicans fighting tooth and nail against any kind of energy plan that will hurt their rich buddies in the oil industry.