Clean energy economy continues to grow despite economic downturn, uncertainties in policy 

At REAP, we’re always interested in hearing more about global investment in clean energy. We know estimating the clean energy economy isn’t a perfect science, but that the trend is only going up and it’s big business. Yesterday, we wrote about how China in 2009 invested $34.6B on clean energy investments. (Yes, that is a B as in billion!).

Today, a story in the Daily Climate notes what others have – how strong the clean energy field remained despite what was a rough year with the global recession, lack of agreement out of the climate change conference in Copenhagen, and uncertainty in what will happen with carbon taxing. The story quotes Nick Parker, co-founder of the Cleantech Group, a San Francisco-based outfit that tracks and advises green investments, as estimating the clean energy sector could be a $3 trillion economy within 10 years.

On a related note, the Clean Energy Group, a non-profit that promotes clean energy technologies, has looked into how the federal Recovery Act – for all its shortcomings – has served as a prolific hatchery for longer-term policy innovation and how the popularity of some of the programs shows how people are clamoring for new approaches.  They note programs like the Department of Energy’s mold-breaking Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program and the Department of Labor’s Pathways out of Poverty program for green workforce training each received 10 times more proposals than they could accept. More of their analysis is available here

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