2011 was a good year for clean energy investing it total dollar terms.
Stocks were another story.
Worldwide, a total of $251 billion was invested in clean energy products last year, the highest total investment to date.
The U.S. played a big part in this, moving past China and into the number one position in clean energy investments with a total of $54 billion. China fell just short, investing $47.4 billion.
Since 2009, China had been the leader in these investments, leaving the U.S. in its wake.
But last year President Obama put to use some of the $80 billion he had set aside for clean energy, and it hasn’t gone to waste.
A large part of this increase was due to a rise in solar installations, made possible by declining panel prices and more global interest.
Global solar capacity jumped 54% last year, pushed forward by installations in Germany and Italy.
Italy recently made the decision to remain nuclear free, while Germany has decided to phase out nuclear power. Instead, the European nations turned to solar.
And because of that, solar installations were up from 18.2 gigawatts to between 26.5 and 29.4 gigawatts.
Of the $251 billion in global investments, solar accounted for $136.6 billion.
But not all areas of clean energy benefited this greatly. Wind energy investments fell 17% last year.
Where struggling solar companies managed in the midst of the price drop, wind companies have not been so lucky.
Vestas (PINK: VWDRY), the largest maker of turbines in the world, announced huge job and production cuts to make up for its losses.
But many nations have clean energy quotas to fill and goals to reach, such as Australia, which is on track to get 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
Clean energy investments have nowhere to go but up.
That’s all for now,