Sustainable Energy

Of Greenbacks and Green Power


When it comes to green energy, cash is king. Spain and Germany, which attracted a combined $81 billion in investment to fund wind and solar projects since 2005, now produce almost one-third of their electricity from renewable sources, vs. just 4% for the U.S. Not to be outdone, the world's emerging giants have targeted green energy as an engine for growth. China, for instance, has earmarked $46.9 billion from its two-year stimulus package to fund eco-projects.

U.S.

The BP oil spill has focused attention on America's dependence on fossil fuels. President Obama has pledged to pass energy legislation that would provide regulatory certainty for investors.

Green power sources, in gigawatts: 53.4 GW*

Green power as a share (%) of total capacity: 4.0%

Investment in clean energy: $121.9 bn

Brazil

The South American giant has big plans: By 2019, it will spend $17.7 billion on eco-projects, including a sixfold increase in its wind capacity, to six gigawatts.

Green power sources, in gigawatts: 11.7 GW*

Green power as a share (%) of total capacity: 11.0%

Investment in clean energy: $36.1 bn

China

The Middle Kingdom is the world's fastest-growing green energy market. China will add 18 gigawatts of wind capacity this year. That's double the amount expected in the U.S.

Green power sources, in gigawatts: 52.5 GW*

Green power as a share (%) of total capacity: 4.0%

Investment in clean energy: $86.3 bn

India

To lure investment, New Delhi is offering generous subsidies for solar, wind, and biomass. Those are enticing local entrepreneurs to invest billions in green energy projects.

Green power sources, in gigawatts: 16.5 GW*

Green power as a share (%) of total capacity: 9.0%

Investment in clean energy: $18.3 bn

Germany

Europe's largest economy has used green subsidies to jump-start its domestic wind and solar industry. National champions like Siemens now dominate the world's eco-industries.

Green power sources, in gigawatts: 36.2 GW*

Green power as a share (%) of total capacity: 29.0%

Investment in clean energy: $25.7 bn

Spain

The southern European country's debt crisis has taken the wind out of the sails of its green companies. Cutbacks in government subsidies are pending, which could curtail clean energy investment.

Green power sources, in gigawatts: 22.4 GW*

Green power as a share (%) of total capacity: 30.1%

Investment in clean energy: $63.3 bn

* As of end-2009. Includes small hydrogeneration, solar, wind, and biomass.

** From 2005 through first quarter 2010. Combines private and public sector funding.

Data: Bloomberg New Energy Finance


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