UNEP in a report on renewable energy found global investment in renewable energy rose 32 percent from 2010 levels. This was driven largely by wind farms in China and small-scale rooftop solar energy projects in Europe.
Chinese investments in renewable energy rose 28 percent to $48.9 billion in 2010, making it the leader in clean energy development.
The report, prepared for the U.N. agency by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, concluded that investors spent around $211 billion on renewable energy last year, roughly 30 percent more than in 2009 and 540 percent more than 2004 levels.
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said it's no accident that green investments are showing exponential growth.
"The combination of government target-setting, policy support and stimulus funds is underpinning the renewable industry's rise and bringing the much-needed transformation of our global energy system within reach," he said in a statement.