Global solar investment surges ahead

The figures, published last week, show that total new investment in clean energy increased five percent in 2011, reaching a new record of USD260 billion. Solar attracted the most money, increasing 36 percent to USD136.6 billion, nearly double the amount invested in wind power.

Another point of interest in the figures was that, for the first time since 2008, there was more investment in clean energy in the U.S. than in China.

The total amount of money invested in clean power now totals more than one trillion dollars, Bloomberg report, since the company began compiling data in 2004.

Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, in a statement releasing the figures, said: "The performance of solar is even more remarkable when you consider that the price of photovoltaic modules fell by close to 50 percent during 2011, and now stands 75 percent lower than three years ago, in mid-2008."

Reacting to the results, the head of Australia’s Sustainable Energy Association Ray Wills said that the figures indicate that the worldwide move to renewable energy was in full flight. "For the past two years the world has built greater capacity in solar-powered generation than coal-fired generation of electricity."