Global investment in renewable energy resources attained a record $257 billion in 2011, with about 57 per cent of the capital spent on solar energy, according to two United Nations reports released on Monday.
The reports by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) said that solar attracted twice as much investment as wind power, driving the renewable energy sector to yet another record-breaking year.
Total investment in renewable energy grew 17 per cent in 2011, a slowdown from the 37 per cent increase seen in 2010. Still, the UNEP claimed the latest figures were an indication that renewable energy is drawing level with fossil fuels in some markets.
The investment is 94 per cent higher than the total in 2007, the year before the global financial crisis.
"These trends are real, they are substantive and they are transformative," Achim Steiner, UNEP director told reporters in a conference call.
Investment in photovoltaic installations jumped 52 per cent to $147 billion in 2011, compared to the previous year on account of strong demand for solar installations in 200 million households worldwide as well as many public and commercial buildings.