green and sustainable business

Economic and enviro recovery depends on clean energy

with 10 comments

The clean-tech sector’s three major bellwethers – biofuels, wind and solar – are poised to fuel huge growth  in clean energy revenue, jobs and capital investment over the next decade, according to a new report from Clean Edge Inc.

“Clean Energy Trends 2010” projects that those benchmark technologies, which totaled $124.8 billion in 2008 and grew 15.8 percent to $144.5 billion in 2009, to grow to $343.4 billion in 2019. That’s growth of almost 138 percent.

The breakdown from Clean Edge goes like this:

  • Biofuels (global production and wholesale pricing of ethanol and biodiesel) reached $44.9 billion in 2009 and are projected to grow to $112.5 billion by 2019. In 2009 the biofuels market consisted of more than 23.6 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel production worldwide.
  • Wind power (new installation capital costs) is projected to expand from $63.5 billion in 2009 to $114.5 billion in 2019. Last year’s global wind power installations reached a record 37,500 MW. China, the global leader in new installations for the first time, accounted for more than a third of new installations, or 13,000 MW.
  • Solar photovoltaics (including modules, system components, and installation) will grow from a $36.1 billion industry in 2009 to $116.5 billion by 2019. New installations reached just more than 7 GW worldwide in 2009, a sevenfold increase from five years earlier, when the solar PV market reached the gigawatt milestone for the first time. But because of rapidly declining solar PV prices, industry revenue between 2008 and 2009 declined about 6 percent – from a revised $38.5 billion in 2008 – as solar prices dropped from an average $7 peak-watt-installed in 2008 to $5.12 peak-watt-installed last year.

Global job growth in the solar and wind sectors over the 2009-2019 period will be even more dramatic, the report says, surging to more than 3.3 million from about 831,000. View some charts and tables from the report here.

Clean Edge,  founded in 2000, is a clean-tech research and publishing firm with offices in San Francisco and Portland (OR).

The economic devastation of 2008 and 2009 hit venture capital spending hard in all industrial sectors: Initial public offerings in the U.S. were at historic lows, with just 13 venture-backed IPOs in 2009 and that was up only slightly from a meager six venturebacked IPOs in 2008, according to Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association.

“But signs of hope have begun to emerge for the clean-tech sector,” Clean Edge says. “From Beijing to Seoul, and Washington, D.C. to Brussels, clean energy has become a driving force for economic recovery. Approximately $100 billion of the $787 billion stimulus package in the U.S. will go to clean-tech investments and activities; South Korea’s ‘Green New Deal’ is estimated to commit $84 billion to clean-tech investments by 2013; and China, by some estimates, could end up spending $440 billion to $660 billion toward its clean-energy build out over the next ten years.

“And while total venture activity was down, clean energy’s percent of the total continued to increase, to 12.5 percent of total venture activity in 2009 in the U.S. alone.”

As we brace for the long-term impacts of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and maybe try to learn something from it, it is becoming clearer that economic and environmental recovery and prosperity will depend on clean energy.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

23 June, 2010 at 10:56 am

10 Responses

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  1. This post is great.

    Keisha Malter

    13 July, 2010 at 3:30 am

  2. The world needs hydroelectric or solar energy, not nuclear energy, coal or gas! Wind energy is great too but it is harder to utilize than solar and generates less power.

    Solar Power Info

    14 July, 2010 at 10:42 pm

  3. Good site!

    Jefferson Ciccarello

    15 July, 2010 at 11:00 am

  4. Very good stuff here, great job on this blog!

    William Defranceschi

    16 July, 2010 at 12:12 am

  5. I’ve been into environmentalism for 20 some odd years now. I’ve always wanted to find a way to reduce our usage of the electrical grid, which I’ve done to some extent with a few solar panels, but I can’t really afford anything that would power the whole home. I’ve been looking into building a cheap magnetic generator (here is one example I found, but I’ve been wondering how hard it would be. Have you had any experice with this or others?


    17 July, 2010 at 4:59 am

  6. It’s past time to stop using foreign oil! Maybe we will always need some oil, but we just have to stop depending on Middle East oil. There are 3 fairly easy things that all of us can do now to make a difference. 1- Stop pumping gas into your car! If you have a gas guzzler now, convert it into an electric car (see this blueprint for example). No more gas! 2- Stop using electricity off the electric grid! Either build solar panels (like this one), or build a cheap magnetic generator (like this one). Not very hard! 3- Learn to bike or walk! If you are only going a mile to the shop, walk or bike there. My 2 cents.


    17 July, 2010 at 5:48 am

  7. Dear admin, thnx for sharing this blog post. I found it wonderful. Best regards, Victoria…

  8. hey there I just wanted to comment your blog and say that I really enjoyed reading your blog post here. It was very informative and I also digg the way you write! Keep it up and I’ll be back to read more soon mate

    craigslist poster

    18 July, 2010 at 5:24 pm

  9. found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

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    19 July, 2010 at 12:15 am

  10. Super cool information!! Thanks! will add you to my favourites

    Elmira Mammenga

    19 July, 2010 at 1:34 am

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