Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race? 2011 Edition

Apr 12, 2012

Companies and countries have experienced ups and downs in the worldwide clean energy race in recent years, and 2011 was no exception. For consumers, however, the clean energy race has been consistently positive, driving down prices and interjecting new renewable energy choices into a marketplace dominated by century-old technologies. Price competition is the defining characteristic of the clean energy race in 2011, spurring investment and deployment, increasing global clean energy capacity, and creating opportunities for innovators, entrepreneurs, and workers.

This report, Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race? 2011 Edition, examines key financial, investment, and technological trends in 2011 related to the clean energy economy of G-20 members. Our primary focus is on investment, which drives innovation, commercialization, manufacturing, and installation of clean energy technologies. The data have been compiled and reviewed by Pew’s research partner, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a market research firm focused on renewable energy.

Our research demonstrates that clean energy investment continued a near-decade-long rally in 2011, rising 6.5 percent to a record $263 billion. Excluding research and development, investment in the sector is more than 600 percent higher than in 2004. The G-20 member countries continue to dominate the sector, accounting for 95 percent of all global investments in clean energy. Future growth is anticipated in the emerging markets of developing nations, however. Annual investment growth rates of 10 to 18 percent are projected for parts of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America in the next 10 years.

Although prices declined and overall investment increased, 2011 was a year of mixed results across the G-20, with as many countries experiencing losses as gains.

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