Investment in green energy in 2011 was spearheaded by the United States which has overtaken China as the leading global investor.
Pew Charitable Trusts says the US invested more than $US48 billion in the sector, up from $US34 billion in 2010.
Investment by China increased by $US0.5 billion to $US45.5 billion.
Globally, overall financial backing in clean energy technologies was $US263 billion, up 6.5% from 2010 levels.
Pew clean energy program director Phyllis Cuttino told BBC News that investors rushed in to take advantage of tax incentives and loan guarantees, which expired at the end of 2011.
Over the course of the year, an additional 83.5 gigawatts was added to the world's clean energy generation capacity, including almost 30GW of solar and 43GW of wind.
there is now far more clean energy generating capacity in the world than nuclear power.