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Study: MD Solar Farm Part of National “Solar Surge”

January 13, 2012

HAGERSTOWN, Md. – A power surge for solar energy has beefed up the clean-energy investment bottom line in the United States. The Maryland Solar Farm is just one example of how the sector is not only surviving, but thriving, according to research presented at an international investor summit on climate change and economic risks at the United Nations on Thursday.

Ethan Zindler, director of policy analysis for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, says its analysis shows the U.S. edged out China in clean-energy investments in 2011.

"Despite the difficulties of the financial sector in Europe, and given ongoing economic concerns, the industry still managed to attract new capital – about five percent more last year."

Zindler says there was a record $260 billion in total clean-energy investment last year in the U.S. China held the number one spot in 2010.

Other research at the conference focused on state and national policies related to climate change, such as renewable energy standards and incentives for clean energy development. Those results were more of a mixed bag.

Mark Vachon, vice president of GE Ecomagination says his company is seeing stellar returns – and cautions policymakers and investors not to be left behind.

"This isn't pick one: great economics or great environmental performance. It's both."

Investors at the conference signed an action plan calling for more private investment in low-carbon, non-nuclear clean energy.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD