For the first time, China led the U.S. and other G-20 members in 2009 clean energy investments and finance, according to a new study by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Last year, China invested $34.6 billion in the clean energy economy – nearly double the U.S.' total of $18.6 billion.
Over the last five years, the U.S. also trailed five G-20 members (Turkey, Brazil, China, the U.K. and Italy) in the rate of clean energy investment growth.
Pew's report tracks and measures global investment activity, including venture capital, initial public offerings from companies seeking to expand, mergers and acquisitions and lending for large-scale projects, in the renewable energy sector.
Globally, clean energy investments have increased 230% since 2005, the report found. Investment by nearly all G-20 members grew by more than 50% over the past five years, and despite a worldwide recession, global clean energy investments reached $162 billion in 2009.
G-20 members accounted for more than 90% of worldwide clean energy finance and investment. More than 250 GW of renewable energy generating capacity have been installed around the world, producing 6% of global energy. Pew projects that global renewable energy investments will reach $200 billion this year.
Countries with strong nationwide policy frameworks, including renewable energy standards, carbon markets, priority loans for renewable energy projects and mandated clean energy targets – such as China, Brazil, Spain, the U.K. and Germany – have the most robust clean energy sectors as a percentage of their economies.
Countries without such policy frameworks – including the U.S., Japan and Australia – lag behind, according to the report. The U.S.' clean energy finance and investments lagged behind 10 G-20 members in percentage of gross domestic product.
The full report is available here.
SOURCE: Pew Environment Group