Thursday, July 22, 2010

China surges ahead of U.S. in clean energy race

China spent almost double that of the United States on clean energy investments last year. According to a report China is going to take the lead as the world's premier green energy power. China's clean energy investments increased by 50 per cent last year while in the U.S., the investments fell by 42 per cent.

Last year China invested 34.6 billion dollars on expanding its renewable energy capacity. The global investment was $162 billion in 2009. This was the study report released by the Pew Charitable Trusts, which measured the growth of clean energy investments in the world's major economies.

The U.S. invested only $18.6 billion last year. They lost the top spot for most investments for the first time ever. My country India invested $2.3 billion only, ranking tenth among the G-20 group of countries.

“There are reasons to be concerned about America's competitive position in the clean energy marketplace. Relative to the size of its economy, the United States' clean energy finance and investments lag behind many of its G-20 partners,” said the report. “The U.S. is on the verge of losing its leadership position in installed renewable energy capacity, with China surging in the last several years to a virtual tie,” the report noted.

Last year was the year of global downturn. Still China expanded its renewable energy capacity significantly. It spent $586 billion on stimulus plan devoting an estimated $30 billion to green projects.

Now, China trails the U.S. by less than 1 GW in terms of overall renewable energy capacity. China has 52.5 GW of installed capacity. Out of this capacity, 12.2 GW is in wind energy. This sector had grown rapidly following a government plan to support a fixed-rate feed-in tariff.

The Chinese government had targeted increasing the installed capacity for wind to 30 GW by 2020. India slightly trails behind China with 11 GW installed capacity. India aims to reach 17.6 GW by 2012. The report ranks India fifth overall in terms of installed capacity, with 16.5 GW.

The report found that in spite of the recession last year, the overall global investment in clean energy fell by only 6.6 per cent. The report also forecasts a 25 per cent growth in the coming year, estimating a $200 billion investment in 2010.

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