China has overtaken the United States as global leader in renewable energy, according to a report by Ernst & Young. The US held the top spot until November 2006.
The report suggests China spent US$10 billion on its wind power industry in the last quarter, which represents almost half of global total investment in new wind projects.
The country’s solar industry is also fast becoming of great importance in the global marketplace.
So why has the United States lost its lead? According to the report, the US has been hit by the "continued repercussions of the financial crisis, low gas prices, and the uncertain medium to long-term policy environment."
CommodityOnline, which carried the report, also said Japan’s solar market could grow sharply due to the government’s climate policies, including a tariff subsidy for households. This could result in a four-fold growth in Japan’s solar panel market by 2020, from its 2009 level of US$5.8 billion.