OAKLAND, CA — Copenhagen may have ended with a whimper but the drive to address climate change will rapidly fuel the fledgling carbon trading, consulting and software management sectors in the coming years.
Separate reports out this week predict gangbusters growth for sectors that have sprung up to help companies and governments reduce their carbon footprints. Just-released research predicts the carbon management and services market will swell tenfold over the next seven years, billions will pore into carbon capture and storage technologies, and the emissions trading market will triple within four years.
"Regardless of what happened in Copenhagen, the low-carbon momentum has already begun to take root around the world," Pike Research said in an excerpt of its report, "Carbon Management Software and Services: Business Drivers, Policy Issues, Enterprise Adoption Patterns, Competitive Landscape, and Market Forecasts."
The report pegged the fledgling carbon management software and services market at $384 million in 2009, with potential to grow at a 44 percent compound annual growth rate through 2017, when its value will top $4.3 billion.
"Carbon accounting is a nascent and dynamic field," Pike Research Managing Director Clint Wheelock said in a statement Tuesday. "As such, the vendor landscape is very fragmented. Young startups are competing against the many established firms in the market, as well as heavyweight software and IT services companies."
Western Europe, bound by the Kyoto Protocol and emissions reduction commitments, currently represents the largest regional market for carbon management software and services, but North America is expected to supplant the region as market leader by 2013.
Between 2009 and 2010, Pike predicts the North American carbon management and services market by more than 75 percent.
Carbon trading is a significant part of regional efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as the European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS) and a proposed cap-and-trade program in climate change legislation currently working its way through the U.S. Congress.
New York-based ABI Research believes the global carbon trading market to reach $305 billion in 2014, compared to $118 billion in allowances traded in 2008.
In its report released Monday, "Carbon Capture, Sequestration and Emissions Trading: The Outlook for Global Carbon Markets," ABI also predicts $14.6 billion will be invested in 73 new CCS projects between 2009 and 2014, preventing some 146 million tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
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