Although it was released March 29th, I only got around to looking at the Pew Environment Group's latest analysis of clean energy investment over this past weekend. Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race? 2010 Edition estimates that global clean energy investment reached US$243 billion in 2010 a 30% increase over 2009. For the second year, the investment champion is China, which invested a total of US$54.4 billion followed by Germany (US$41.2) and the U.S. (US$34.0).
"The clean energy sector is emerging as one of the most dynamic and competitive in the world, witnessing 630 percent growth in finance and investments since 2004," said Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew's Clean Energy Program. "Countries like China, Germany and India were attractive to financers because they have national policies that support renewable energy standards, carbon reduction targets and/or incentives for investment and production that create long-term certainty for investors."
Canada came in a lowly 7th place, investing US$5.6 billion - which is actually not bad given a population 1/10th the sixth of that in the U.S. (and only 1/40th that of China). As a country we only accounted for 2.8% of the G-20 investment total.
Pew's Fact Sheet for Canada is brief but attributes most of the control over clean energy investment to the provinces - and, although, they don't break the country totals down by province, its likely that Ontario accounted for the lion's share of investment this past year. In large part this attributable to the feed-in tariff and the Renewable Energy Standard the province has in place.
(Interestingly, the report highlights the important role of Feed-In Tariffs (FIT's) in supporting clean energy investment. Pew cites the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory which estimates that FIT's have led to 75% of global solar installations and 45% of global wind projects. While Germany and Italy are the best known FIT proponents, as noted above, Ontario also has a FIT program in place - something the Ontario government has increasingly come under criticism for.)
While Canada is in 7th place for investment, the country falls to 12-13% (depending on technology) based on installed capacity, suggesting that conditions in the past one to two years have allowed investment in renewables in this country to accelerate - again, likely to Ontario's support programs. If you are developing renewable power in this country, you are likely active in Ontario.
One thing Pew doesn't provide is any assessment of the effectiveness of the clean energy policy alternatives. This type of review should have allowed some observations in that regard, but there is no mention of it that I saw. Perhaps next year.