China surpassed the United States as the global epicentre of renewable energy investment in 2012, attracting a mammoth 65 billion dollars of investment. This represents a 20 percent improvement on 2011’s figure and a staggering 30 percent of the G-20 total.
The United States was leading the field in 2011 with 56.8 billion dollars, but underperformed in 2012, attracting just 35.6 billion dollars of renewable energy investment. This 37 percent decline can be attributed to uncertainty surrounding the expiration of production tax credits for green energy projects.
It was not all bad news for the United States. Solar investment soared and a record 3.2 GW of new capacity was installed across the country in 2012. Germany comes third for renewable energy investment, despite curtailing incentives. Clean energy investment in Germany dropped from 31.3 billion dollars in 2011 to 22.8 billion dollars in 2012, a 27 percent decline.
Japan has been seeking alternatives to nuclear energy in the wake of the Fukushima disaster and has been expanding its renewable initiatives. In 2011, Japan attracted 9.3 billion dollars of investment and this figure rose to 16.3 billion dollars in 2012.