India, solar, leading growth in global clean energy investment despite recession

Clare Saxon Ghauri
17 October 2012

NEW DELHI: New research shows that despite the recession, global investment in clean energy technology has continued to increase, led by growth in India and in solar energy.

New research by Worldwatch Institute’s Climate and Energy program has found that new investment in clean power reached US$257 billion in 2011, which is up from $220 billion in 2010.

India's rapid clean energy growth

Although clean energy investment was strong for all nations, according to the research the highest growth was in India, where it surged 62% over 2010’s totals.

Rapid growth in India was closely followed by the United States, which boasts a similarly impressive pace in clean energy investment growth, of 57%.

But while India’s pace of growth came out on top, the largest sum of new investments in 2011 came from China, which attracted US$52.2 billion.

Solar power surge

A big contributing factor towards the global growth in clean energy investment is due to the success of solar power. Solar was propelled by a 50% price drop and US$147.4 billion in investment last year.

The impressive figures for clean energy investment are significantly greater than total investment for traditional energy. Results show net investment in renewable power capacity was US$40 billion more than for fossil fuels.

Global clean energy markets

Aditi Dass, Director of Technology Programs, The Climate Group commented: “While China’s new investments were the greatest sum of all countries, the Worldwatch Institute’s research goes to show that India must be credited for the greatest pace of growth. At this crucial time when the world is watching which nation is most likely to take the lead in the global clean revolution race, India’s soaring success in 2011 should not be overlooked or underestimated. India has great potential to dominate the global market for clean energy technology and is on the brink of outpacing investment around the world.”

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