The United States invested the second highest amount of money globally
of any nation in renewable energy production in 2011, according to two new reports.
U.S. renewable energy investment increased by 57 percent in 2011, to $51 billion. China was the only country to invest more in renewable energy, with an investment of $52 billion.
The reports - "Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2012" from the United Nations Environment Programme and "The Renewables 2012 Global Status Report" from the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century - also found that solar power became the leading renewable energy technology worldwide, as investment increased 52 percent.
The large increase in U.S. renewable energy was attributed to developers investing in new projects before three tax incentive programs expired in 2011 or 2012, the Houston Business Journal reported.
Globally, 16.7 percent of energy consumed came from renewable sources last year. The global investment in renewable energy was $257 billion, six times as big as it was in 2004.