The clean-energy market grew 35% in 2010, making it a $188.1 billion industry according to a recent report. Clean Edge released the data in their Clean Energy Trends 2011, an introspective industry document that has been published by the advisory firm, in one form or another, for the last ten years. The report focuses specifically on solar, wind, and biofuels. Together, the different industries grew from a $139.1 billion market to a $188.1 billion market.
Solar power was the big leader last year as global installations of photovoltaics doubled, further expanding from a $2.5 billion industry in 2000 to a $71.2 billion market in 2010 and representing a compound annual growth rate of almost 40%. The report predicts that the solar photovoltaics industry will grow to be a $113.6 billion market itself by the year 2020. Current solar installations reached 15.6 GW of power worldwide in 2010, doubling from 7.1 GW in 2009.
Biofuels grew steadily, reaching the $56.4 billion level, and are predicted to reach $112.8 billion by 2020. In 2010, the biofuel market consisted of 27.2 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel, up almost 4 billion gallons from the previous year. Wind power slipped slightly from previous years, but still represents a $60.5 billion market that is expected to grow to a $122.9 billion market in the next decade.
The report also highlights five areas of future growth. The document notes that LEDs taking over incandescent lights, natural gas advancing wind and solar technology, clean aviation fuels, low-cost green buildings, and innovation that provides alternatives to rare earth elements will be some of the biggest areas that will impact renewable energy the most.
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