U.S. Leads China in Renewable Energy Capacity

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". . .clean energy investments forecast to grow by 25% this year to US$200bn."

While China took the lead from the U.S. last year for clean energy finance and investment, the U.S. still leads in renewable energy capacity.

Clean energy has experienced investment growth of 230% since 2005, explains Pew Charitable Trusts in its report, Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race? The clean energy sector declined only 6.6% last year despite the financial downturn, when US$162 billion was invested globally in clean energy.

Rebounding from a sharp downturn in late 2008 and early 2009, clean energy investments in the G-20 averaged US$32bn in each of the last three quarters of 2009. Many governments prioritized clean energy within their national economic recovery funding, and the bulk of this support will be felt over the next two years, with clean energy investments forecast to grow by 25% this year to US$200bn.

Accounting for 90% of global finance and investment, G-20 countries dominate the clean energy landscape. Virtually all G-20 countries have seen investments grow by more than 50% over the last five years.

Pro-Renewable Countries in Stronger Competitive Position

China, Brazil, the UK, Germany, Spain and other countries with strong, national policies to reduce global warming and incentivize the use of renewable energy are establishing stronger competitive positions in the clean energy economy.

Policy, investment and business experts note that the clean energy economy is emerging as one of the great global economic and environmental opportunities of the 21st century.

Renewable Energy Capacity Grows to 250 GW

Last year, installed renewable energy capacity increased to 250 GW, enough to power 75 million homes and equivalent to 6% of the global total, the report explains. The U.S. led in wind, biomass and geothermal capacity but was close to losing its top position in overall installed capacity as China surged forward.

"Despite pioneering development of numerous key solar technologies, the U.S. lagged well behind G-20 leaders in installed solar capacity," with Germany as the undisputed leader in solar energy.

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