According to the research, total clean energy investment totaled $269 billion worldwide last year, a decline from 2011's record high of $302 billion. However, clean energy investment in the Asia and Oceania markets grew by 16 percent to $101 billion. In terms of investment—which is an indicator that a country or region has offered compelling projects, struck a good regulatory balance, and has a strong economy—that makes Asia the epicenter of the global clean energy market.
The Pew researchers thus labeled the US clean energy sector as "underperforming," largely for a trio of reasons. First, China's boom and manufacturing prowess has taken investment away from the US. Second, the US regulatory environment for clean energy is horrifically unstable (as is the regulatory environment as a whole) as politicians battle over budget rhetoric. Finally, the US has failed to capitalize on its innovation prowess and develop its clean energy manufacturing sector to its full potential.