For the first time, China led the U.S. and other G-20 members in 2009 clean energy investments and finance, according to data released 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.
In ‘Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race? Growth, Competition and Opportunity in the World's Largest Economies,’ Pew examines key financial, investment and technological trends related to G-20 members and the clean energy economy.
The report tracks and measures global investment activity – ranging from venture capital, initial public offerings from companies seeking to expand, mergers and acquisitions, and lending for large-scale projects – in this sector.
The findings in the report include the following:
– Globally, clean energy investments have increased 23% since 2005;
– Investment by nearly all G-20 members grew by more than 50% over the past five years;
– 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; and
– Global clean energy investments are projected to 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. For example, in relative terms, Spain invested five times more than the U.S. last year, and China and the U.K. three times more.
The U.S. did lead G-20 members in venture capital and private equity investments associated with technology innovation. However, it trailed in 2009 asset financing, with only $11.2 billion, while China led with $29.8 billion. Asset financing serves as a key barometer of clean energy deployment, job creation and business growth.
SOURCE: The Pew Charitable Trusts Â