A wind farm in Minnesota. (Photo by Nic McPhee.)

Global investment in clean energy rose 24 percent in the second quarter of 2012, hitting $59.6 billion. The rise is largely due to China:

China was the main contributor to a 24 percent rise in new global investment in clean energy in the second quarter as large Chinese solar and wind projects raised millions of dollars of finance, said research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

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New global clean energy investment totalled $59.6 billion in the second quarter of this year, up 24 percent from the previous quarter but still 18 percent below the near-record high of $72.5 billion in the second quarter of 2011, the company said in a report on Wednesday.

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Investment increased in other countries as well.

Europe saw investment rise 11 percent in the second quarter to $20 billion, while the United States gained 18 percent to $10.2 billion, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Some of the largest projects financed in the second quarter included the 270 megawatt (MW) Lincs wind farm off the UK coast at $1.6 billion; the 419 MW Flat Ridge Wind Farm in the United States at $800 million; the 250MW Guodian Shanxi Qinyuan Taiyue wind farm in China at $317 million and the Shanlu & Shengyu Bayannur Wuyuan solar PV plant in China at $316 million.

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(There are some cool photos of the Flat Ridge project at this website which you should go look at.)

It’s not surprising that investment grew; cleantech had one of its worst quarters in years at the beginning of 2012. Nor is it surprising that it grew so rapidly in China. The country remains the leader in global cleantech manufacturing.