Investors worldwide spent less on renewable energy and related technologies last year than in previous years. Global investments in renewable energy fell to $214 billion, down 14 percent from 2012. Venture capital investments in U.S.-based clean-tech companies fell 25 percent in 2013. And for the first time in a decade, China saw a decline in clean energy investment in 2013.
These isolated numbers make it appear as if the clean tech sector is on the decline. But take a deeper dive and it’s clear that there’s a much more complex story at play. In reality, renewable energy is on a strong growth path—and tools are emerging to push the sector even further.