Global investment in renewable energy surged to a new high last year, despite the widespread recession.

But the Guardian reports that experts warned that the rate of growth was showing signs of slowing, and would need to speed up if the world’s economies are to be transformed on to a low-carbon footing.
Renewable energy
Last year, investment in renewable energy reached $257bn (£165bn), a rise of 17 per cent on the previous year. The record investment was a six-fold increase on the 2004 figure and nearly double the total in 2007, the year before the world financial crisis, according to a report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21).

However, the rate of growth has fallen year on year – last year’s growth of 17 per cent on the previous year failed to match the 37 per cent increase in investment from 2010 to 2011.

The US and China were the top investors in renewables last year. US investments continued despite the shale gas boom and obstacles because of uncertainty over policy.

The report, called Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2012, used data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

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