$263 billion in global clean energy investment - report



WASHINGTON -- Global clean energy finance and investment grew to $263 billion in 2011, a 6.5 percent increase over the previous year with the Americas region registering a 21 percent increase in clean energy investment for a total $63.1 billion, according to new research released by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Investment in the region was led by the United States, which experienced a 42 percent increase, followed by Brazil with 15 percent and Canada with a 4 percent increase.

'This increase in investment is significant because it drives innovation, commercialization, manufacturing and installation of clean energy technologies that create new opportunities for innovators, entrepreneurs and workers alike.'

Among renewable technologies, investment in solar increased by 44 percent, attracting $128 billion and accounting for more than half of all clean energy investment in G-20 countries. Dramatic price declines, with the cost of solar modules dropping by half in the past 12 months, fueled the activity. Wind prices also declined in 2011.

Last year, almost 30 GW of new solar and 43 GW of wind power was deployed globally. The combination of falling prices and growing investments accelerated installation of clean energy generating capacity by a record 83.5 GW in 2011 bringing the total to 565 GW globally. This represents nearly 50 percent more than installed nuclear power capacity worldwide by the end of the year.

Key findings of the Americas region include:'Solar installations drove most of the activity last year as the falling price of photovoltaic modules, now 75 percent lower than three years ago, more than compensated for weakening clean energy support mechanisms in a number of parts of the world.'

The United States reclaimed G-20 leadership for overall clean energy investments, which grew to $48 billion. The 42 percent increase was due in part to investors taking advantage of economic stimulus programs that expired at the end of 2011. The production tax credit concludes at the end of this year.

Ranking 10th in the G-20, clean energy investment in Brazil increased by 15 percent to $8 billion, but failed to keep pace with other growth markets. There is unmistakable progress in the Brazilian clean energy sector, which has recorded the third fastest installed capacity growth over the past five years. Brazil surpassed 1 GW of installed wind capacity in 2011, and the sector is primed to expand in the coming years.

Canada ranked 11th among the G-20 nations for clean energy investment but sixth in investment intensity and seventh in five-year investment growth.

In 2011, just over half of the investments in Canada were directed to wind resources ($2.8 billion), enabling addition of 1.3 GW of wind generating capacity.

Investments in the G-20 countries accounted for more than 95 percent of the global total. Amounts are listed in U.S. dollars.

With underlying data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race? 2011 Edition examines how nations are faring in the increasingly stiff competition for private investment among the world's leading economies.

Read the entire report, including country profiles and interactive graphics, at

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