Clean Energy Trends 2013


Clean Energy Trends 2013 Report from Clean Edge, Inc.

From Clean Edge Inc.


Clean Edge, a leading authority on the clean-tech market, released its 12th annual Clean Energy Trends report.


Last year was a challenge for the clean energy sectors. Layoffs, bankruptcies, decreased funding, and politics, beleaguered the industry. This year, politics are in play again; assaults on state-backed renewable portfolio standards are being mounted on several fronts.


There is plenty of good news too however.


The need for clean tech hasn’t gone away however. The world population continues to expand, straining precious resources of clean air and water. Climate change has undoubtedly played a role in an ever increasing number of weather disasters. The Obama administration has redoubled efforts to grow renewable power and energy efficiency. Clean-tech is increasingly competitive in terms of pricing, wind and solar are reaching cost parity in both utility-scale and distributed markets.


Clean Edge research, reported in the summary, shows that:

  • Biofuels (global production and wholesale pricing of ethanol and biodiesel) reached $95.2 billion in 2012, up from $83.0 billion the previous year, and are projected to grow to $177.7 billion by 2022. From 2011 to 2012, global biofuels production expanded from 27.9 billion gallons to 31.4 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel. Market size growth over the next decade is expected to be driven by added production, but also by modest price increases.

  • Wind power (new installation capital costs) is projected to grow from $73.8 billion in 2012, up from $71.5 billion the previous year, to $124.7 billion in 2022. Global wind capacity expanded by 44.7 gigawatts in 2012, a record year led by more than 13 GW added in both China and the U.S., and an additional 12.4 GW of new capacity in Europe.

  • Solar photovoltaics (including modules, system components, and installation) decreased from a record $91.6 billion in 2011 to $79.7 billion in 2012 as continued growth in annual capacity additions was not enough to offset falling PV prices. While total market revenues fell 19 percent – the first PV market contraction in Clean Energy Trends’ 12-year history – global installations expanded to a record of 30.9 GW in 2012, up from 29.6 GW the prior year. Germany remained the top market, adding 7.6 GW in 2012, followed by strong growth in China, Italy, and the U.S., which each added more than 3 GW. By 2022, solar PV revenues are expected to grow to $123.6 billion.


These three sectors are predicted to advance over the next ten years and double in size (from $248.7 billion in 2012 to $426.1 billion in 2022).


The Clean Energy Trends 2013 report focuses on five major themes: smart devices/big data, distributed solar financing, microhybrid technology, geothermal, and biomimicry.


Smart devices and big data are advancing energy efficiency by leaps and bounds. “This mash-up of clean tech and high tech, under current buzz terms like Big Data, Soft Grid, and CleanWeb, is starting to make a notable dent in energy consumption and create burgeoning opportunities for small startups, large corporate players, and efficiency-minded utilities.” Companies in this sector that Clean Edge advises to watch are: Bidgely, C3 Energy, Honey Well, Nest Labs, and Opower.


Distributed Solar has made important strides and in 2012 gained more than 50 percent of the residential and commercial market. Financing innovations are bringing new opportunities to distributed solar. Companies shining through are: Clean Power Finance, Mosaic, Renewable Energy Trust Capital, SolarCity, and Sungevity.


Fuel efficiency has been greatly impacted by the stop-start, or microhybrid, technology which stops a car’s motor during idling, then starts it again–with a battery, not gas–when needed. This technology will play a huge role in automotive efficiency standards that require much improved fuel efficiency. Clean Edge says don’t stop watching: Axion Power, Bosch, Delphi Automotive, Exide Technologies, and Johnson Controls.


Geothermal is heating up. This renewable has been aided by modified qualifications for production tax credits which now allow for multi-year geothermal projects, more aggressive RPS mandates, and the ability to earn carbon credits in California’s newly established emissions trading system. Hot geothermal companies include: Chevron, Energy Development Corporation, Ormat Technologies, TAS Energy, and US Geothermal.


Biomimicry, or the imitation of nature, is being employed increasingly in modern production and processes. After all several billion years of evolution has provided a lot of testing time. The combination of modern technology and nature’s expertise affords immense opportunities for efficiency and innovation. Clean Edge calls out: Biomimicry 3.8, CalTech Center for Bioinspired Engineering, Dyesol, Qualcomm, and Whale Power.


As always, Clean Edge Inc. and its authors Ron Pernick, Clint Wilder, and Trevor Winnie, provide amazing research into the clean technology economy and technology. This summary is from the Clean Energy Trends 2013 report, © 2013 Clean Edge, Inc. Download the Clean Energy Trends 2013 report now to access the full report.


About Clean Edge, Inc.

Clean Edge, Inc., founded in 2000, is the world’s first research and advisory firm devoted to the clean-tech sector. For more than a decade the firm has delivered timely data, expert analysis and comprehensive insights to governments, corporations, investors, foundations, and nonprofits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *