photo by Andrew Barclay (electropod on Flickr Creative Commons)

Despite the recent economic downturn, the green energy market has grown to the point of eclipsing fossil fuel – at least in terms of the creation of new power capacity in Europe and the United States.

In 2009 renewables accounted for over 50% of new power capacity in the US and 60% in the Europe. Green power also grew globally.

From an article in Red Herring magazine:

Nearly 80 GW of renewable power capacity was added globally, including 31 GW of hydro and 48 GW of non-hydro capacity. Wind power and solar PV additions totaled a record high of 38 GW and 7 GW, mostly due to a large drop in the costs of solar PV. This decline was offset by high investments in smaller scale solar installments. Wind energy was a strong investment.

This information comes from a report by The United Nations Environment Program and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century.

Though global investment in renewable power sources fell by $11bn from 2008, installation increased. Wind and biomass investment actually increased, while biofuel and solar went down. Overall investment soared in Asia by $10bn, swelling in China by a whopping 53%.

From a CNN report:

According to the U.N., wind power received record investment in 2009 — $67 billion in 2009 compared with $59 billion in 2008 — with a total of 38 GW of new energy installed worldwide.

Wind power is experiencing huge growth in China and the UK’s North Sea.