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China is spending nearly three times as much on clean energy as the U.S.

Whether it's the smartphone market or high-speed rail, China has either surpassed the U.S. or is expected to surpass the U.S. in many sectors.  According to a new report [PDF] by the non-partisan Pew Research Center, clean energy is no exception to this trend; 2012 marketed the first year China assumed the title of king of clean energy, bumping the U.S. down the stack.

The U.S was clean energy's "biggest loser", according to the Pew report, with American clean energy investment (which excludes research and development spending) falling to $35.6B USD in 2012 -- a 37 percent plunge.  That fall helped trigger an 11 percent decline in global spending, which dipped to $269B USD in 2012.

Meanwhile in China the opposite was happening.  Owing to the strong growth, Asia's clean energy sector grew 16 percent as the global market contracted.  Buoyed by China, clean energy investment in the sector soared to $101B USD last year -- 42 percent of the global total. 

Clean energy spending
Fueled by China, Asia became the top clean energy region in 2012. [Image Source: PRC]

The Pew report comments:

The competition among countries for clean energy leadership is resulting in a reshuffling of the old order. In 2012, China advanced its position as the epicenter of clean energy finance, attracting $65.1 billion in investment, 20 percent more than in 2011 and an unsurpassed 30 percent of the G-20 total.  It garnered 25 percent of all solar energy investment, setting a one-year record with $31.2 billion invested. China also accounted for 37 percent of all wind energy investment ($27.2 billion) and 47 percent of the investment in the “other renewable energy” category ($6.3 billion) that includes small hydro, geothermal, marine, and biomass.
All told, 23 GW of clean energy generating capacity was installed in China in 2012.

Although the United States invented many of the leading clean energy technologies, it continues to underperform in investment and deployment relative to the size of its economy and its history in the field. 

China has been spending big on nuclear, wind, and solar power installations.

China windmills
Chinese windmills turn on a hillside. [Image Source: Thinkstock]

Aside from China, developing nations also showed strong growth.  Nations outside the pack of the world's twenty richest nations -- the so-called Group of 20, or G-20 -- saw roughly $20B USD in green energy spending, a 50 percent rise.  Solar and other technologies are increasingly being considered to provide low-cost power in remote regions.

Speaking of solar, that's one bright spot amid the general decline in investment.  With heavy investment in small, residential projects, solar only declined 1.6 percent to $76.8B USD in 2012.  A record 3.2 gigawatts (GW) of solar power was installed in the U.S. last year.  Residential solar saw a 42 percent growth.

The U.S. and others have long cited China as the world's biggest polluter. Now it can revel in the distinction of being the "greenest" power-producing superpower.

Source: Pew Research Center [PDF]

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Doesn't Mean Sh1t
By Crazyeyeskillah on 4/23/2013 12:14:35 PM , Rating: 0
I think it's quite obvious that between the sheer size of China, and the fact that the citizens have no rights, any investor can literally dream their f'ing hat off with whatever type of implementation they want of clean energies.

I live in Vermont, a state that prides itself on being green, natural, and beautiful. Unfortunately the beautiful part makes it so that virtually no one can put up any type of wind farm or solar array even on their own private land, or essentially anywhere that is inhabited, state owned land, or virtually anything you can see with your eyes from a point accessible by human kind. They have continually turned down wind farm after wind farm that has been proposed at any location that can generate serious wind. People that don't even live within an hour drive of the locations proposed will fight to the last man standing on how it destroys the environment to put up wind and solar arrays...

People are all about green energy in the US, but the 'rights' of every citizen to say 'not near my property' will continue to hinder any growth be it small or large. Having a solar panel on your house to heat your toilet water isn't going to make us a world leader in green energy.

The types of arrays that these other countries are establish are dramatic. I can understand how people in Vermont don't want to cover a mountain in wind farms, but who's to say the natives in New Mexico are wrong if they don't want a range in the desert covered in the same equipment? The only way I can see the US allowing itself to become renewable dependable would be to create Massive military like installations devoted to significant energy production over large scale locations.

I'd also like to see how much of this 'green' energy in China comes from questionable practices?

'I might not have a lot to work with but I fracc'd that bitch so hard she was releasing natural gasses and compounds she never thought possible'

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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