Renewable Energy Trends 2006
By EV World
In 2000 the solar photovoltaic industry was a $2.5 billion business; wind power was $4 billion. In five years both have grown worldwide to in excess of $11 billion each. While still dwarfed by Exxon Mobil's $36 billion net profits in 2005, renewable energy is no longer an "alternative" energy source, but as the president of Fuel Cell Canada put it, a "preferred" energy source.
For the fifth year in a row, San Francisco-based Clean Edge, in partnership with venture capital fund, Nth Power, issued their annual report on the economic state of the renewable energy industry.
[Click here for the 2005 Report.]
This year they have included, for the first time, the biofuels industry, which reported revenues to $15.7 billion last year on 9 billion gallons of fuel, the bulk of it from the United States and Brazil. They project the industry will grow to $52 billion by 2015.
Solar PV is forecast to reach almost the same level of more than $51 billion by 2015, reported Clean Edge principle Ron Pernick, who along with his partner Joel Makow and Nth Power's Rodrigo Prudencio and Tim Woodward gave a upbeat assessment of the industry, as a whole. In the case of solar PV, more than 1.5 gigawatts of panels were installed in 2005 alone, which represents more than a 50 percent increase over the previous year.
Wind power is on a similar growth curve with revenues at nearly $12 billion in 2005 and forecast to grow to $48.5 billion in ten years.
Clean Edge's Pernick stated that fuel cell technology will continue to enjoy steady growth, mainly in research and demonstration projects focused on portable and stationary applications, reaching $15 billion by 2015. Transportation fuel cells, he said would take a decade or more to reach commercialization.
Aggregated, the four major "preferred" energy industries will grow from last year's $40 billion to $167 billion by 2015.
"For the first time in modern history, a number of clean energy technologies are becoming cost competitive with their dirtier counterparts," Pernick observed. "Wind power in certain regions is now one of the least expensive and most easily deployed of new generating capacity. Ethanol is now cheaper in Brazil than petrol gasoline; and solar, relatively expensive without subsidies, is often the cheapest source of power in remove applications."
As a service to all of EV World's readers ad listeners, we are making this 22-minute MP3 audio file available for listening online using our Flash-based MP3 player or for free download for later playback on your favorite MP3 device. The program will also be available via Apple's iTunes Podcast service.
EV World expresses its thanks to Clean Edge, Nth Power and Antenna Group Public Relations for permitting us to make this press conference available. Here is a link to the official press release for the annual report.