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Market News

 March 11, 2009
Another Year of Banner Growth in 2008, But Clean-Energy Sector Looks to Stimulus for Help in 2009

 Despite growing economic uncertainty over the last year, the three major clean-energy sectors --- solar photovoltaics (PV), wind power, and biofuels --- kept up a blistering growth rate, increasing 53 percent from $75.8 billion in 2007 to $115.9 billion in revenues in 2008, according to the Clean Energy Trends 2009 report released today by Clean Edge, Inc. By 2018, Clean Edge forecasts that these three sectors will have revenues of $325.1 billion.

The annual Clean Energy Trends report, produced by leading clean- tech research and publishing firm Clean Edge, can be downloaded free of charge at www.cleanedge.com.

While 2009 will be a challenging year for the clean-energy industry, given severe credit constraints that have slowed or reversed plans for new manufacturing facilities and development projects, Clean Edge forecasts strong growth over the mid- to long-term:

Global production and wholesale pricing of biofuels reached $34.8 billion in 2008 and are projected to total $105.4 billion by 2018. Last year, the global biofuels market consisted of more than 19 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel production worldwide, and in Brazil, ethanol surpassed petroleum use for the first time.

Wind power became the first clean-energy sector to surpass the $50 billion mark. Its $51.4 billion in worldwide revenue in 2008 is expected to grow to $139.1 billion in 2018. Last year's global wind power installations reached a record 27,000 MW, including more than 8,000 MW in the U.S., pushing the U.S. ahead of Germany as the world's leading generator of wind energy.

Solar PV (including modules, system components, and installation) totaled $29.6 billion last year and will reach $80.6 billion globally by 2018. Annual solar PV installations reached more than 4 GW worldwide in 2008, a fourfold increase from four years earlier, when the solar PV market reached the gigawatt milestone for the first time.

New global investments in energy technologies --- including venture capital, project finance, public markets, and research and development --- expanded by 4.7 percent, from $148.4 billion in 2007 to $155.4 billion in 2008, according to research firm and Clean Energy Trends content provider New Energy Finance.

For the first time, the report examines the "green jobs dividend." Solar PV and wind power provided more than 600,000 direct and indirect jobs globally in 2008 and are expected to generate 2.7 million jobs by 2018.

This year's report includes an analysis of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law by President Obama in February and providing $70 billion in direct spending and tax credits for clean-energy and transportation programs.

Clean Energy Trends 2009 also outlines five trends poised to make an impact on the markets in the coming year. It describes:
  • What happens when the smart grid goes online
  • How energy storage will become a key issue for utilities
  • Where new clean-energy markets are emerging around the world
  • Why grid transmission capacity will be making headlines in 2009
  • The unseen growth in "micropower" grids
"The clean-energy sector, like the broader economy, faces many challenges," said Clean Edge co-founder and managing director Ron Pernick. "But while 2009 will be a difficult year, we believe that clean energy will play a central role in any global economic recovery."

Source: Clean Edge News