The CleanEdge Clean Energy Trends 2007 report paints a glowing picture of state of the industry in the years ahead. Based on four benchmark technologies, being solar, wind power, biofuel and fuel cells; the report predicts that the market will grow from the $55 billion revenue generated last year to a quarter of a trillion dollars by 2016.
That’s a lot of green :).
CleanEdge bases this prediction on the 39% annual growth that was seen from 2005 to 2006.
Breaking the forecast down by industry:
- The global biofuel market to grow from $20.5 billion in 06 to $80.9 billion in 2016
- The solar industry increasing from 2006’s revenue of $15.6 billion to $69.3 billion in 2016
- Wind power to reach $60.8 billion revenue in 2016 – up from $17.9 billion in 2006
- Fuel cell and hydrogen market to grow from $1.4 billion to $15.6 billion
If you’re an environmentally conscious investor, it’s certainly worthwhile looking into sinking some money into the clean energy industry; but caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) certainly applies. Whenever the “next big thing” appears on the horizon, the parasites and scammers are there as well. I’ve come across a few rather dubious clean energy investment opportunities recently; based more on spin and potential than on solid science and good business – in some ways it reminds me of the Internet bubble of the late 20th century.
I’d be particularly dubious of ethanol related investments until more effective technologies are implemented and alternative crops are used. For example, the price of corn has doubled in the past couple of years due to demands from the ethanol market. Shrinking profits aside, by investing in companies that produce ethanol from corn; you’re also taking food from the mouths of your children and furthering deforestation and land degradation.
Food crops should not be diverted to fuel production – it’s as simple as that. It’s inefficient, environmentally unsustainable and inhumane.
You can download the Clean Energy Trends 2007 report here (PDF)