Revenues for Solar PV, Wind, and Biofuels Expand by 11.4% to $139.1B in 2009

installing solar panels photo

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Clean Energy Still Growing Strongly
Despite a very difficult year for most industries in 2009, the three major branches of the clean energy sector have shown some significant growth. "In 2009, combined global revenue for the three major clean-energy sectors - solar photovoltaics (PV), wind power, and biofuels - grew by 11.4 percent over 2008, reaching $139.1 billion. These three sectors are expected to reach $325.9 billion by 2019, according to the Clean Energy Trends 2010 report issued today by Clean Edge Inc., a research and publishing firm devoted to the clean-tech sector."
wind power turbine photo

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The report's key findings include:

-- The global production and wholesale pricing of ethanol and biodiesel reached $44.9 billion in 2009 and is projected to grow to $112.5 billion by 2019. In 2009, the biofuel 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 first-time global leader in new installations, accounted for more than a third of new installations, with 13,000 MW.

-- Solar PV will grow from a $30.7 billion industry in 2009 to $98.9 billion by 2019. New installations reached almost 6 GW worldwide in 2009, a nearly sixfold increase from five years earlier. But because of rapidly declining solar PV prices, industry revenue in 2009 fell about 20 percent, from $38.5 billion in 2008.

-- U.S.-based venture capital investments in energy technologies declined from $3.2 billion in 2008 to $2.2 billion in 2009. However, clean energy's percentage of total U.S. venture capital investments continued to rise, accounting for 12.5 percent of total activity in 2009. This represented the largest share in the history of the clean-energy asset class.

-- The global solar PV and wind power industries together currently account for a total of more than 830,000 jobs worldwide. By 2019, global industry growth will push the total to more than 3.3 million jobs.

Most of this is encouraging news, except maybe for the part about biofuels. Sadly, a lot of those aren't very green, especially in the US. We can hope that second and third generation biofuels, which are more energy-positive and have fewer land-use issues, will replace first generation biofuels (f.ex. corn ethanol) and not simply be added on top of existing production. It's simply not sustainable to make fuel with food crops.

Via Clean Edge, Green Car Congress
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