Clean Energy Trends 2011

The 10th annual report from Clean Edge tracks the growth of renewable energy markets and looks at five trends that will shape investment in wind, solar and biofuels for the coming years.

The findings show steady growth over the past decade for all three sectors, with wind and solar averaging 30 and 40 percent growth, respsectively, since the first report in 2000. The combined global revenue for solar, wind and biofuels grew 35.2 percent in 2010, up to $188.1 billion from $139.1 billion in 2009.

From the report:

When Clean Edge released its growth projections for solar and wind power 10 years ago, many observers, to put it kindly, thought we were being optimistic. We projected that solar power would grow from a global market of $2.5 billion in 2000 to $23.5 billion by 2010 and that wind power would grow from a global market of $4 billion in 2000 to $43.5 billion by 2010. But [...] we were actually quite conservative in our estimates, coming up around 300 percent short in our solar PV estimates and approximately 50 percent short in our wind estimates. 

Other highlights of the report include: 

• The global market for solar photovoltaics (PV) has expanded from just $2.5 billion in 2000 to $71.2 billion in 2010, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.8 percent. The global market for wind power has similarly expanded from a global market worth $4.5 billion in 2000 to more than $60.5 billion today, for a CAGR of 29.7 percent.

 

• Biofuels (global production and wholesale pricing of ethanol and biodiesel) reached $56.4 billion in 2010 and are projected to grow to $112.8 billion by 2020. In 2010, the biofuels market consisted of more than 27.2 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel production worldwide, up from 23.6 billion gallons in the prior year.

• Wind power (the capital cost of new installation) is projected to expand from $60.5 billion in 2010 to $122.9 billion in 2020. Last year's global wind power installations declined slightly to 35.2 gigawatts (GW), down from a record 37.5 GW the prior year. China, the global leader in new installations for the third year in a row, continued to see strong growth with total new installations of more than 16 GW, an increase of 27 percent. The U.S., the world's second-largest market, declined after record growth in 2009, adding only half as much capacity as the prior year with just 5 GW installed in 2010.

• According to data provided by the Cleantech Group, U.S.-based venture capital investments in clean tech increased 46 percent from $3.5 billion in 2009 to $5.1 billion in 2010. Clean Edge analysis found that clean-tech's percentage of total U.S. venture capital investments continued to rise, accounting for a record 23.2 percent of total U.S. venture activity in 2010. 

Download the full report for free from CleanEdge.com.