The Race for Global Clean Power: Strong Energy Policy Spurs Private Investment

  • December 30, 2010

“Our findings are a wake-up call to U.S. policymakers. We are at a critical crossroads–without ambitious policies, the United States is likely to become a technology taker, not a technology maker.”

-Phyllis Cuttino, director, Clean Energy Program

The extraordinary worldwide growth in clean energy investment over the past five years has been defined by a simple fact: Where supportive clean energy policies are adopted, investment follows. Time and again, nations with the strongest policy frameworks are shown to have attracted the most capital and enjoyed the associated economic benefits, including job creation. A new report by the Pew Environment Group's Clean Energy Program, Global Clean Power: A $2.3 Trillion Opportunity, underscores this critical connection between government policy and private investment.

The report models three policy scenarios that will influence clean power investments over the next 10 years. The primary conclusion: “Policy matters.”

In every G-20 country, those with strong clean energy policies, such as renewable energy standards, realize significant private investment in clean power technologies—wind, solar, biomass/energy from waste, small hydro, geothermal and marine energy projects.

Global Clean Power documents how demand, government incentives and renewable energy targets will shift the center of gravity for clean energy investment from the West (Europe and the United States) to the East (led by China and India) over the next decade. Within the G-20 countries, China, India, Japan and South Korea are projected to account for approximately 40 percent of clean energy project investments through 2020.

     

 

“Our findings are a wake-up call to U.S. policymakers. We are at a critical crossroads–without ambitious policies, the United States is likely to become a technology taker, not a technology maker,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Clean Energy Program. 

The clean energy race is being led by China. In fact, China maintains its global leadership position and has the potential to attract cumulative clean energy asset investments of as much as $620 billion over the next 10 years. India is emerging as a clean energy powerhouse and could realize a 763 percent increase in investment under the “enhanced clean energy” policy scenario, representing the most significant growth rate among G-20 members.

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