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It is well known that the Chinese are investing more heavily in infrastructure than most other countries.This is understandable, as the country's infrastructure was in poor shape before and has to be upgraded to world-class standards. However, the Chinese are not just investing in road, rail networks, airports, dams, etc. They are also focusing on the development and implementation of next generation technologies related to renewable energy sources such as wind power and solar power.

An article in the Bloomberg BusinessWeek notes that China is beating the U.S. in terms of private investment in clean energy as the chart shows below:

Click to Enlarge

Clean-Energy-Investment-2009-Comparison-Country

“The deployment rate of renewable energy projects in America is withering,” said Andy Karsner, CEO of Manifest Energy and a former Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy during the George W. Bush Administration. “Projects announcements are happening, but largely at the end of a federal check.” It is sad that the country consuming the largest amount of fossil fuels is unable to embrace green technologies which can not only save the environment but also offer much-needed economic activity including the creation of jobs.

Some of the major wind power companies in the world are:

1. Vestas Wind Systems (OTCPK:VWDRY)
Denmark

2. GE Energy (NYSE:GE)
United States

3. Gamesa (OTCPK:GCTAF)
Spain

4. Enercon
Germany

5. Suzlon
India

6. Siemens (SI)
Germany

7. Nordex (OTC:NRDXF)
Germany

8. Veolia Environnement (NYSE:VE)
France

Some of the US-based solar energy firms include:

1. First Solar, Inc (NASDAQ:FSLR)
2. SunPower Corporation (SPWRA)
3. STR Holdings, Inc (NYSE:STRI)

Investors can also gain exposure to renewable energy stocks via ETFs, a few of which are listed below:

  1. iShares S&P Global Clean Energy Index Fund (NASDAQ:ICLN)
  2. PowerShares Global Clean Energy Portfolio (NYSEARCA:PBD)
  3. Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (NYSEARCA:KWT)
  4. First Trust ISE Global Wind Energy ETF (NYSEARCA:FAN)
  5. PowerShares Global Wind Energy Portfolio (NASDAQ:PWND)
Source: U.S. Falling Behind China in Clean Energy Investment