Renewable Energy Has Seen a Decade of Tremendous Growth

I love this.

At the beginning of the New Millennium (that was the year 2000 forthose of you who can’t remember back that far) Ron Pernick co-founderand managing director of market research firm Clean Edge Inc. predictedthat the solar power industry would top 23.billion by the end of 2010. The naysayers shook their collective head and snickered.

According the latest report by Clean Edge Inc. worldwide sales of photovoltaic solar equipment topped $71 billion. Sure it’s still a just a drop ofsunshine compared to the fossil fuels industry (Reports indicate thatExxon Mobile made nearly $400 billion last year), but it does showtremendous growth. Renewable energy is now a force to be reckoned with and it’s not going away.

“It went from relative obscurity 10 years ago to being one of the dominant market forces today,” said Pernick.

The wind industry has also ballooned, from a $4 billion global market in 2000 to $60.5 billion in 2010.

After showing steady growth for almost 10 years, solar equipmentsales skyrocketed last year as a result of a slew of new factories inChina forcing the price of solar cells down. PV sales went from $36 billion in 2009 to more than $71 billion in 2010.

Wind, on the other hand, while it’s showed tremendous growth over the courseof the decade, saw it’s first decline last year, or at least since Clean Edge has been monitoring the renewables industry situation, down from$63.5 billion in 2009 to $60.5 billion last year.  As reported here,there have been a few snags in the wind farm development arena due toissues involving endangered species, Native American tribal lands, andthe feds on the fence about extending grants for green developers.

But hey, $60.5 billion is nothing to sneeze at, Mr. Man.


The amount of new wind power generation installed in the UnitedStates last year was barely half the amount built in 2009, according tothe American Wind Energy Association.

So what is the renewables prediction for the next decade? Accordingto Clean Edge solar sales should be very bright, topping about $113billion, while we can expect wind sales to soar to upwards of $122billion.


SF Gate

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