An annual report tracking global investment in clean energy found for a second straight year that China has overtaken the United States as the leader.
The Pew Charitable Trusts recently released “Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race?,” which found that clean energy investment worldwide declined 11 percent in 2013, and that the United States saw a 9 percent decline in investment to keep it firmly in second place.
Japan, the United Kingdom and the rest of the European Union round out the top five.
The dip in investment is not all bad news. With the cost of renewable energy in sharp decline, countries are able to invest more efficiently in new installations.
For example, Pew’s report points out that investment in solar fell by 23 percent in 2013, to $97.6 billion, but solar generating capacity skyrocketed. Last year, 40 gigawatts of solar capacity was installed across the globe. That’s more solar capacity installed last year than in all of the years between 2001 and 2011.
Pew’s report demonstrates that if the United States wants to maintain its status as a clean energy superpower, Congress and the administration must ensure a regulatory and tax climate that is competitive in the global marketplace.
Clean energy is a booming market for investors, with leading renewable energy stocks up 54 percent over the year. But beyond that, clean energy means more jobs than fossil fuel industries, it means energy security at home, and it means we take better care of our environment for future generations.