SANDY SHORE

DENVER (AP) ¿ New global investment in clean-energy companies fell 22 percent in the third quarter as government financing was offset by tight credit markets, according to new research released Friday.

From July to September, new global investment totaled $25.9 billion, down 22 percent from a year ago and off 9 percent from the second quarter, according to London-based New Energy Finance, a global research firm.

But the sector appears to be heading toward a recovery, with investment nearly double what it was in the first quarter and investors growing more confident.

Many analysts think a turnaround will come in 2010 but caution that much depends on the U.S. economy, the health of the financial sector, natural gas prices and even electricity demand.

Asset financing, a key measure for solar and wind projects, fell 26 percent to $19.2 billion. Venture capital and private equity investment dropped 46 percent to $2.2 billion.

The third-quarter total, however, was nearly double the $13.3 billion recorded in the first quarter, said Ethan Zindler, who heads New Energy's North American research arm.

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