A surge in investment in renewable energy in India, coupled with strong green energy growth in the U.S. and China, led to a 17 percent global surge in alternative energy investments last year, according to reports by the United Nations Environment Program and another organization. Robust investment in solar power helped India’s investment in green energy grow 62 percent last year, to $12 billion, the reports said. U.S. investments in renewable energy, dominated by solar power, totaled $51 billion last year, just $1 billion behind China’s $52 billion in alternative energy investments. Despite plummeting prices for natural gas and a decline in subsidies for renewable energy investments in developed countries, total global investments in renewable energy in 2011 reached a record $257 billion, nearly double the total five years ago, according to the reports. Even excluding large hydroelectric projects, renewable energy investment represented roughly one-third of new power generation installed in 2011.