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India leaps forward in clean energy race

United States America,Business/Economy,Science/Tech, Thu, 12 Apr 2012 IANS

Washington, April 12 (IANS) India has taken a leap in the clean energy race with a 54 percent increase in investments in 2011 vaulting it from 10th to sixth place in the G-20 in just one year, according to a new study.


The wind sector led the way, attracting $4.6 billion out of a total$10.2 billion investment in India and spurring deployment of 2.8 GW during the year, a 38 percent increase in wind generating capacity, according to research released Wednesday by The Pew Charitable Trusts


"On a number of measures, India has been one of the top performing clean energy economies in the 21st century, registering the fifth highest five-year rate of investment growth and eighth highest in installed renewable energy capacity," said Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew's Clean Energy Programme.


"The country holds great potential in the Asia/Oceania region and will continue to be a top destination for private investment this year," she said.


India's "National Solar Mission," with a goal of 20 GW of solar power installed by 2020, helped drive the seven-fold jump in solar energy investments, to $4.2 billion.


Globally, investment grew to a record $263 billion in 2011, a 6.5 percent increase over the previous year. The United States reclaimed the top spot among all G-20 nations and attracted $48 billion.


However, with $45.5 billion in private investments, China continued to be a hub of clean energy activity - leading the world in wind energy investment and deployment as well as wind and solar manufacturing. Germany received $30.6 billion ranking third among G-20 nations.


The combination of falling prices and growing investments accelerated installation of clean energy generating capacity by a record 83.5 GW in 2011 bringing the total to 565 GW globally.


This represents almost 50 percent more than installed nuclear power capacity. Investments in the G-20 countries accounted for more than 95 percent of the global total.


(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)


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