The clean energy sector has continued to perform strongly despite continued global economic hardship, with new investment totaling £38.4 billion in the second quarter of 2012.

The figures, published by research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance, reveal that overall, solar accounted for £21.6 billion of global clean-tech investment in Q2, up 19 percent on Q1.The figure means that solar investments accounted for more than half of all global clean energy investment.

Bloomberg estimates that small-scale installations of less than 1MW, such as rooftop PV installations, were worth £13.8 billion in Q2, 13 percent more than the same quarter last year.

Michael Liebreich, Chief Executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance said: “Small-scale projects are becoming an increasingly important part of the world’s energy mix, particularly following the 75 percent drop in the cost of PV modules over the past three years.

“Germany and Italy remain the largest markets, but small-scale PV is now broadening its geographic base, with installations in the US, Japan and China all growing strongly. We see further expansion across the sun-belt as costs continue to come down.”

The research shows that China saw an enormous swell in renewable investment, as several large solar PV and wind projects pushed the country’s investment up by 92 percent on last quarter’s to stand at £11.8 billion.

Liebreich commented: “China has recently quadrupled its domestic goals for solar installations. And it has been by far the biggest market for wind turbines for several years. These figures underline the pivotal role China is playing in the clean energy sector. Its torrent of supply-side investment was one of the main reasons why renewable energy costs have been plummeting; we are now seeing China creating enough demand to start mopping up some of the resulting over-capacity.”