US tops world rankings for clean energy investment

The US has reclaimed its crown as world’s biggest clean energy investor, according to rankings released for 2011.

The table, published in a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts, showed that US invested more than $48bn (£30bn) in the sector, up from $34bn in 2010.

Last year’s leader, China slipped to second place, the authors reported, with investment only increasing by $0.5bn to $45.5bn, reports the BBC.

Globally, overall financial backing in clean energy technologies hit a record $263bn, up 6.5% from 2010 levels.

The report, Who is Winning the Clean Energy Race, showed that G20 nations accounted for 95% of the investment in the sector (which does not include nuclear power).

The data, compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, ranked the UK as seventh in the world, with $9.4bn of investment in 2011.

Over the course of the year, an additional 83.5 gigawatts (GW) was added to the world's clean energy generation capacity, including almost 30GW of solar and 43GW of wind.

"The sector continues to expand and is outpacing growth in the overall (global) economy. The sector reached its trillionth dollar of investment last year," observed Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew's Clean Energy Program.

"We now have 565GW of installed (generation) capacity around the world. That outstrips nuclear installed capacity by 47%.

"So I think the facts fly in the face of those individuals who say this is a niche industry. This a growing and maturing sector."

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