PARIS, July 14 (UPI) -- Germany led the world in solar energy development last year as the renewable energy sector expands despite economic troubles, a U.N.-backed panel said.
"The global performance of renewable energy despite headwinds has been a positive constant in turbulent times," Mohamed el-Ashry, chairman of Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century, said in a statement.
Germany in 2010 installed more solar power than the entire world added to its grid in 2009. Solar power in the United States and Japan, meanwhile, is double 2009 levels, Ashry's panel said in a report.
Europe for the first time last year added more solar power to its grid than wind energy, though across the board, wind power experienced the most expansion.
At least 119 countries in 2010 had adopted some form of renewable energy policy, nearly twice the levels from 2005.
Ashry's report notes that despite a weak economy, the renewable energy sector was performing well. Renewable energy last year accounted for 16 percent of the global energy supply in 2010.
Most of the new renewable projects, the panel said, came from countries in the developing world.