Pew's "Global Clean Power: A $2.3 Trillion Opportunity" report offers predictions for the future of clean-energy investment based on which policies are adopted by the G-20 member nations. It lays out how global private investment in clean energy would play out under three different scenarios:
- If current policies remain in place;
- If the Copenhagen 2009 pledges are carried out; and
- If more aggressive energy policies are adopted.
According to a Pew report released earlier this year, China was the largest clean-energy investor in 2009 at $34.6 billion. The U.S. came in second with $18.6B, followed by the UK with $11.2B. China continues to lead in the report released today, which predicts worldwide private investment in clean-energy projects will likely total $1.7 trillion by 2020.
If the G-20 governments adopt more aggressive clean-energy policies, that investment could increase by $546B to total $2.3 trillion.
India, also a rising star in the energy sector, is forecast to move from 10th to 3rd in rank by 2020, no matter which scenario comes true. India, the U.S. and UK are the three G-20 countries where a lack of clean-energy policies has afforded much room for possible growth in the coming years.
"Cumulatively, the U.S. has the potential to attract $342 billion in private clean-energy investments over the next decade," the report said.
Wind has proved to be the most cost-competitive, large-scale clean-energy option. The report predicts the successful wind sector will win even more investment compared to solar, geothermal and hydro. Under aggressive clean-energy policy adoption, the industry would see $190B invested by 2020.