The U.N. released its report on global investment in renewable energy yesterday. Investment reached a record $257 billion in 2011 of which $147 billion alone was solar investment. The report’s authors are decidedly unworried about the slew of bankruptcies in the solar industry and draw an analogy between the auto industry in 1903, in which there were initially 500 car makers, and the current shake out in solar. It’s a view I largely share, though I think there’ll be some slowing in market growth in Europe and North America as tariff rollbacks set in. Interestingly, China led all investment with $52 billion, a billion ahead of the U.S. China has very ambitious plans for cleantech investment and I fully expected it to widen its lead in cleantech investing in the coming years.