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* Global clean energy investment up 24 pct at $59.6 bln in Q2
* China investment surges 92 pct to $18.3 bln in Q2
LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) - China was the main contributor to a 24 percent rise in new global investment in clean energy in the second quarter as large Chinese solar and wind projects raised millions of dollars of finance, said research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
New global clean energy investment totalled $59.6 billion in the second quarter of this year, up 24 percent from the previous quarter but still 18 percent below the near-record high of $72.5 billion in the second quarter of 2011, the company said in a report on Wednesday.
China experienced a 92 percent surge in investment to $18.3 billion in the second quarter from the previous quarter.
"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," said Michael Liebreich, Bloomberg New Energy Finance chief executive.
The International Energy Agency said last week that China would overtake Europe as the world's top renewable energy growth market this year as Europe's economic downturn and maturing renewable markets shift the growth centre to large emerging markets.
By contrast, Europe saw investment rise 11 percent in the second quarter to $20 billion, while the United States gained 18 percent to $10.2 billion, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Some of the largest projects financed in the second quarter included the 270 megawatt (MW) Lincs wind farm off the UK coast at $1.6 billion; the 419 MW Flat Ridge Wind Farm in the United States at $800 million; the 250MW Guodian Shanxi Qinyuan Taiyue wind farm in China at $317 million and the Shanlu & Shengyu Bayannur Wuyuan solar PV plant in China at $316 million.
Despite these big deals, it is still difficult for many companies to raise equity finance, the report said.
The WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index, which tracks 96 clean energy stocks worldwide, stood at 115.25 points at the end of Q2, which was 75 percent below its record high last November.
Public investment in clean energy was $1.1 billion in the quarter, nearly double the record low of last quarter but 75 percent below the second quarter of last year.
Venture capital and private equity investment was $1.5 billion, down 28 percent from the last quarter and 39 percent from the second quarter of 2011. (Reporting by Nina Chestney, editing by Jane Baird)