China leads the global clean energy technology manufacturing race closely followed by the United States and Germany, a new report commissioned by World Wildlife Fund mentions.
"Clean Economy, Living Planet" published on 4 June, 2012 is the third edition of an annual report by the WWF which ranks 25 nations based on the previous year sales of the clean energy technology products they manufacture, such as solar panels and wind turbines.
Though the US ranks second to China in total sales, relative to the size of its economy the US is well behind leading countries including Denmark, China, Germany and Brazil.
"Other countries are moving on clean technology opportunities and making big investments in the industry, while US policymakers in Washington seem to be content to let all the recent growth in the US wither on the vine by not providing policy certainty and not going after growth opportunities," said Marty Spitzer, Director of US Climate Policy for WWF. "It's stable, visionary policy that's driving the market leaders to the top."
As per the report, US total clean technology manufacturing sales increased 17% from 2010 to 2011, a pace that has slowed from recent years (28% from 2008-2010). In addition, the top five fastest growing markets for 2010-11 were Taiwan (+36%), China (+29%), India (+19%), South Korea (+19%) and the United States (+17%).
"The view that new industries set sail on their own defies history," Spitzer said. "The US government has played a strong role in investing in and fostering new industries, from rail and coal to the oil, natural gas and nuclear industries. Clean technology industries are no different. For the near term, our clean energy manufacturing industries like wind and solar need and deserve support to maintain their growth. In the longer run, we need to level the playing field among energy technologies and put in place policies like a Clean Energy Standard or a carbon price to create stable, long-term demand."
Overall, the report found that in 2011, the global sales value of the clean technology sector increased by 10% to almost £162 billion (approximately $248.8 billion). However in comparison to 2010, the 2011 growth of that sales value is much more unevenly distributed across countries.