Global investment in renewable energy surged 60 per cent to $148 billion (74.3 billion) last year and is still accelerating despite the slowdown in the wider economy, according to the United Nations. Wind energy attracted the biggest amount of around $50.2 billion and solar, the fastest growing area, attracted investment of $28.6 billion. Since 2004, the global market for solar energy has grown by annual rate of 254 per cent. The report from the UN’s Environmental Programme (UNEP) likened the flood of investment to the renewable energy sector to a “green gold rush”. “Just as thousands were drawn to California and the Klondike in the late 1800s, the green energy gold rush is attracting legions of modern day prospectors in all parts of the globe,” said Achim Steiner, head of UNEP.