AUSTRALIA is falling behind China and the United States on renewable energy investment, with a new report finding Australian investments fell 70% in the past year.
The Climate Council report showed investment in renewable energy projects in Australia fell at the same time as investors in China and US ramped up.
It found China had installed more renewable energy generation capacity than for fossil fuels in 2013, and retired some 77 gigawatts of capacity provided by coal-fired power stations between 2006 and 2010.
Report co-author Tim Flannery said the lack of commitment from the Federal Government was already "hurting" the renewable energy industry.
The government is still negotiating with crossbenchers and Labor over its plans for the renewable energy target, after a review earlier this year recommended cutting the target.
Professor Flannery said the US was also investing more, now second only to China for installing renewable energy.
The US plans to reduce its emissions by 17%, by 2020.
Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis director of energy finance studies Tim Buckley said further investment in thermal coal was "counter-intuitive" as the world's largest economies were moving to more renewable energy.
- APN NEWSDESK