China came in first and Germany second in clean-energy investment last year, while the United States fell one spot to third place, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing a Pew report.
US investment in clean energy totaled $34 billion last year, the report "Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race" by Pew Charitable Trusts, an independent, nonprofit group. That was up 51 percent from the previous year but below the $54.4 billion invested by China and the $41.2 billion invested by Germany.
China and Germany have minimum clean-energy targets that helped them move ahead, Pew said.
Germany has had a long history of using feed-in tariffs to spur solar power and other alternative energy. Last year the prospect of reductions in the tariffs, under which renewable-power generators are paid a premium price for the electricity they produce, helped spur dramatic growth in solar, especially in small-scale rooftop projects.
The United States led the world in energy efficiency with $3.3 billion in investment.
It still led the world in venture capital and private equity investments in clean energy, which globally counted for $8.1 billion, up 27 percent from the year before.
Overall investments in clean energy, excluding research and development funding, in the Group of 20 major economies rose 33 percent last year to $198 billion amid recovery from recession, the report said.