Global investment in renewable energy sources grew by 32% during 2010 to reach a record level of US$211bn (£132bn), a UN study has reported.
The main growth drivers were backing for wind farms in China and rooftop solar panels in Europe, it said.
It also found that developing nations invested more in green power than rich nations for the first time last year.
The Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2011 report was prepared for the UN by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
“The continuing growth in this core segment of the green economy is not happening by chance,” said Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme.
“The combination of government target-setting, policy support and stimulus funding is underpinning the renewable industry’s rise and bringing the much needed transformation of our global energy system within reach.”
In 2010, developing economies spent more on “financial new investment”, pumping $72bn into renewable projects compared with the $70bn outlay by developed economies.
China topped the table of investors again, spending $48.9bn – up 28% from 2009. There were also sizeable increases in investment from other developing or emerging economies:
- South and Central America: up 39% (from 2009 levels) to $13.1bn
- Middle East and Africa: up 104% to $5bn
- India: up 25% to $3.8bn