NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Over the past year, the alternative energy sector has been hit hard by the global recession and cascading fall in crude oil prices. However, as economies recover, crude gets a bit more expensive and alternative energy dominates political agendas, the sector is likely to reap some benefits.
Most recently, governments around the world came to an agreement to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by pledging an aggregate amount of $100 billion per year to aid developing nations in adopting cleaner and greener energy technology. Additionally, nations like China, India and Brazil continue to focus and invest heavily in solar and wind power, with China expected to allocate more than $450 billion to the wind and solar power industries over the next five years.
In fact, the Chinese have more than augmented their support for alternative energy and solar projects by offering government subsidies. To hit its goal of increasing total installed solar capacity to 2GW by 2011, the Chinese government offers 50% of the cost of investment in solar projects and 70% of the solar projects' costs in remote parts of the country.
In the United States, the drive to cleaner energy seems to be primarily driven at the state and local levels. Around the nation, 26 states and more than a thousand cities have bumped up their environmental standards and energy efficiency requirements, with California leading the way. The sunshine state has a statue that requires its utilities to include 33% renewable energy in its portfolio. As a result, Southern California Edison (SCE) and Pacific Gas & Electric (PGE) have both developed 250 MW solar projects.