According to our research:
- Biofuels (global production and wholesale pricing of ethanol and biodiesel) reached $56.4 billion in 2010 and are projected to grow to $112.8 billion by 2020. In 2010, the biofuels market consisted of more than 27.2 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel production worldwide, up from 23.6 billion gallons the prior year.
- Wind power (new installation capital costs) is projected to expand from $60.5 billion in 2010 to $122.9 billion in 2020. Last year’s global wind power installations declined slightly to 35.2 GW, down from a record 37.5 GW the prior year. China, the global leader in new installations for the third year in a row, continued to see an increase with total installations of more than 16 GW. The U.S. continued to see significant declines in the face of a tight project finance market, uncertainty around project grants until late in 2010, and the lack of a federal RPS, among other challenges, adding only half as much capacity as the prior year with just 5 GW installed in 2010. Against this backdrop, China surpassed the U.S. for the title of global leader in total cumulative installs for wind power, with a capacity of more than 42 GW.
- Solar photovoltaics (including modules, system components, and installation) are projected to grow from a $71.2 billion industry in 2010 to $113.6 billion by 2020. New installations reached more than 15.6 GW worldwide in 2010, a more than doubling from 7.1 GW in 2009. The level of growth and expansion in solar PV was a direct result of PV prices dropping by more than 30 percent in 2009 followed by an additional 10 percent drop in 2010.
Together, we project these three benchmark technologies, which totaled $139.1 billion in 2009 and grew 35.2 percent to $188.1 billion in 2010, to grow to $349.2 billion in the next decade.
When Clean Edge released its growth projections for solar and wind power 10 years ago, many observers, to put it kindly, thought we were being optimistic. We projected that solar power would grow from a global market of $2.5 billion in 2000 to $23.5 billion by 2010 and that wind power would grow from a global market of $4 billion in 2000 to $43.5 billion by 2010. But as we’ve highlighted above, we were actually quite conservative in our estimates, coming up around 300 percent short in our solar PV estimates and approximately 50 percent short in our wind estimates. Below is a table that shows the actual global market growth for solar and wind for the past 10 years, and for biofuels for the past five years, based on Clean Edge’s annual market figures.
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