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Wind blows away competition among renewable energy investors

A U.N. report says wind is No. 1 among alternative energy investments.

Wind power #1 renewable energy investment United Nations

Money is pouring into renewable energy. And it's a global trend. The United Nations on Wednesday reported that $100 billion went into renewable energy and efficiency technologies last year. That's a record--up $20 billion from 2005. Indications are 2007 will set another record. You can read a summary of the United Nations report here.

Once dominated by North America and Europe, renewable energy investments are spreading out. Last year, 9 percent went into China. Investors from India were active in acquisitions.

Money's coming from stock markets, venture capital investments and private individuals. Publicly traded renewable energy stocks rose more than 60 percent during the recent 15 months including the first quarter of 2007. That fuels even more investor interest.

Among the types of renewable energy, wind is most popular with investors. It's followed by solar and biofuels. High petroleum prices are given some of the credit for the strength of renewable energy investment, along with concern over climate change.