China and Germany both beat the U.S. in investments in clean energy technology in 2010, according to a study released Tuesday by the Pew Environment Group.

The study named China as the world’s leading investor in clean energy technology with a 54.4-billion-dollar investment, up from 39.1 billion dollars in 2009.

Germany doubled its low carbon investments to 41.2 billion dollars to leapfrog the US into second place. The US increased its investments by 50 per cent to 34 billion dollars. Italy was the fourth biggest clean energy investor with 13.9 billion dollars.

Using figures compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the report estimated that total global investments in the clean energy sector reached 243 billion dollars, an increase of 30 per cent from 2009 when the sector stagnated because of the global recession.

Europe was the leading recipient of clean energy finance with a total of 94.4 billion dollars, led by more than 100-per-cent growth in small scale solar installations in Germany and Italy, the report said.

Asia is fast closing the gap with a 33 per cent increase in 2010 to 82.8 billion dollars, fuelled by what it called “the world’s clean energy superpower” China.

The report predicted that investments in clean power assets could reach 2.3 trillion dollars in the current decade.

“Countries that succeed in attracting investment can realize the economic, security and environmental benefits of the global race to harness clean, renewable energy sources,” the report said.

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