China overtook the US during 2009 to become the leading investor in renewable energy technologies, according to a new analysis.
Researchers with the Pew Charitable Trusts calculate that China invested $34.6bn (£23.2bn) in clean energy over the year, almost double the US figure.
The UK emerges in third place among G20 nations, followed by Spain and Brazil.
The most spectacular growth has come in South Korea, which saw installed capacity rise by 250% in five years.
Globally, investment has more than doubled in the last five years, Pew finds, with the recent economic turmoil generating only a slight dip.
“Even in the midst of a global recession, the clean energy market has experienced impressive growth,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew’s campaign on climate change.
“Countries are jockeying for leadership.
“They know that investing in clean energy can renew manufacturing bases, and create export opportunities, jobs and businesses.”
The US still holds a marginal lead in the total amount of installed capacity, but will be overtaken by China during the course of this year if existing trends continue.
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