"The BNEF preliminary analysis suggests the US is the top country, as measured in dollars deployed, in providing direct subsidies for clean energy with an estimated $18.2bn spent in total in 2009."
Approximately 40% of this went toward supporting the US biofuels sector with the rest going towards renewables. The federal stimulus program played a key role; its Treasury Department grant program alone provided $3.8bn in support for clean energy projects.
China, the world leader in new wind installations in 2009 with 14GW, provided approximately $2bn in direct subsidies, according to the preliminary analysis. This figure is deceptive, however, as much crucial support for clean energy in the country comes in form of low-interest loans from state-owned banks. State-run power generators and grid companies have also been strongly encouraged by the government to tap their balance sheets in support of renewables.
This disparity raises the question--if the report is right and fossil fuels require so much backing, can they compete with renewables without government support?
So far renewables just can't provide enough fuel and power to displace fossil fuels. The infrastructure to make and distribute them isn't adequate. That could change overnight if we simply stopped subsidizing fossil fuels, and shifted that Government Investment into renewable infrastructure.