2012 Marks Record Year for Global Solar, Wind, and Biofuels Deployment
Clean Edge’s Annual Trends Report Finds Increased Deployment, But Global
Market Value Increases Only Slightly, Up 1 Percent, to $249 Billion
PORTLAND, Ore. & OAKLAND, Calif. -- March 12, 2013
Although 2012 proved to be an unsettling and difficult year for clean energy,
the fundamental global market drivers for clean technology remained largely
intact, according to the Clean Energy Trends 2013 report issued today by
clean-tech research and advisory firm Clean Edge, Inc.
The report found that lower prices for many clean-tech goods and services,
combined with a renewed focus on scalable projects, resulted in record annual
solar, wind, and biofuels deployment. Against this continued expansion,
however, combined global revenue for solar PV, wind power, and biofuels
expanded just one percent, from $246.1 billion in 2011 to $248.7 billion in
2012. This marginal growth was one of the many consequences of rapidly
declining solar PV prices.
The full report can be downloaded for free at www.cleanedge.com.
“2012 was a year of extreme uncertainty for clean energy markets, as venture
investors pulled back and high-profile bankruptcies became a partisan wedge in
the presidential election, all while climate disruptions brought clean tech
back into the limelight,” said Ron Pernick, Clean Edge co-founder and managing
director. “But a key lesson emerged from last year – the focus for investors
and industry for the near- to mid-term will be on deployment.”
The Clean Energy Trends 2013 report’s key findings include:
*Biofuels (global production and wholesale pricing of ethanol and
biodiesel) reached $95 billion in 2012, up from $83 billion the previous
year. From 2011 to 2012, global biofuels production expanded from 27.9
billion gallons to 31.4 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel.
*Wind power (new installation capital costs) expanded to $73.7 billion in
2012, up from $71.5 billion the previous year. Global wind capacity
additions totaled 44.7 GW (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 PV (including modules, system components, and installation)
decreased from a record $91.6 billion in 2011 to $79.7 billion in 2012.
While total solar market revenues fell 19 percent – the first PV market
contraction in Clean Energy Trends’ 12-year history – global installations
expanded to a new record of 30.9 GW. While only five years ago PV was
being installed at roughly $7 per peak watt, today projects can be
completed at closer to $2.50 per peak watt globally.
*Together, Clean Edge projects these three sectors will nearly double from
$248.7 billion in 2012 to $426.1 billion within a decade.
*Venture capital investments in U.S.-based clean technology companies
totaled $5 billion in 2012, falling 26 percent from $6.6 billion in 2011,
according to data provided by Cleantech Group. Clean tech’s decline,
however, matched a similar downward trend for total VC investment, with
clean-tech investments still representing nearly one-fifth of all VC
activity in the U.S.
Increased financing from deep-pocketed traditional energy and technology
players reflects the move away from early-stage capital towards on-the-ground
deployment. In early 2013, Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings
expanded its solar portfolio with a whopping $2 billion acquisition of the
Antelope Valley Solar Projects in Southern California. Google’s recent $200
million equity investment in a Texas wind farm pushed the tech giant’s
ownership in solar and wind projects to a combined 2 GW. And in January 2013,
car rental giant Avis Budget Group announced its plan to buy car-sharing
pioneer ZipCar for $500 million.
The report also outlines five key trends that will impact clean-energy markets
in the coming years:
1. Smart Devices and Big Data Empower Customers, Open New Chapter in Energy
2. Distributed Solar Financing Comes of Age
3. Under the EV Radar, Microhybrid Technology Saves Big on Fuel Consumption
4. In the U.S. and Overseas, Geothermal Picks up Steam
5. Perfectly Natural: Biomimicry Makes its Mark on Clean Tech
About Clean Energy Trends 2013
Clean Edge issues its annual Clean Energy Trends report to track key
developments in clean-energy markets. Past reports have been downloaded by
tens of thousands of individuals in government, finance, industry, and the
media. Clean Energy Trends 2013 is made possible by the support of its
sponsors including premier sponsors Autodesk, Chubb, Grant Thornton, Mintz
Levin and major sponsors APCO Worldwide, Cascadia Capital, and E2.
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 key
industry stakeholders. The company offers an unparalleled suite of index,
benchmarking, and advisory services, including the State Clean Energy and U.S.
Metro Clean Tech Indexes, sponsored reports including its flagship Clean
Energy Trends series, and clean-tech stock indexes with NASDAQ^®. To keep
abreast of the latest clean-tech trends or learn more about Clean Edge’s
services, visit www.cleanedge.com.
Clean Edge, Inc.
Ron Pernick, 503-493-8681
Erin Dunlay, 916-554-3468
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