Shifting priorities

Bikes are outselling cars, and, for the first time, investors are spending more toward renewable energy than they are toward fossil fuels. That’s the word from separate market reports that may indicate a shift in energy priorities and lifestyle choices in the midst of a recession.

Investments worth $140 billion were spent on renewable sources of energy compared to $110 billion spent on fossil fuel technologies, according the a report from the United Nations Environment Program called “Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2009.”

However, that was just 5 percent more than investors spent in 2008, compared to the more than 50 percent growth renewables experienced during the previous three years. Wind was the most attractive to investors, with $51.8 billion directed toward it.

Bike sales tell a similar story. In the United States, more bikes were sold than cars during the first quarter of 2009—about 2.6 million compared to 2.5 million cars and trucks, according to a report from Bike Europe. However, bike sales are also at their lowest point in 11 years, down more than 30 percent from the first quarter of 2008. But cars and trucks sales were even lower, down 35 percent from 2008.