The U.S is adopting clean energy technologies at a rapid pace, but China is moving faster. Who needs Google when you have massive clean tech investments on your side? According to Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race? Growth, Competition and Opportunity in the World’s Largest Economies, a report from The Pew Charitable Trusts, China led the clean energy financing pack last year with $34.6 billion. The U.S lagged behind with $18.6 billion, and the U.K came in third place with $11.2 billion.
One element that China has on its side: the 863 Program, a government-funded initiative that boosts advanced energy technology in the country. Recently, the program has expanded its focus on clean energy technology with impressive results.
The U.S, on the other hand, doesn’t have a comprehensive energy policy and it has lagged behind five G-20 members (Turkey, Brazil, China, the United Kingdom, and Italy) in the rate of clean energy investment growth over the past five years–and it’s still in second place. If the country had some sort of policy (i.e. an energy and climate bill or national transmission line policy), it might be able to come out in front.
Overall, though, the outlook is bright. Pew notes that the clean energy industry has experienced investment growth of 230% since 2005