A new report from renewable energy authority Clean Edge has shown a large growth in the number of renewable technologies deployed in 2012 – and also explained the ‘flat’ state of revenue in the clean energy sector. Released on Tuesday, the Clean Energy Trends 2013 report established a global increased in renewable energy from wind, solar and bio-fuels over the course of 2012. However, the income generated by the renewable energy sector as a whole remained flat, thanks to a nose-dive in the cost of producing photovoltaic solar panels.
Solar Panel Price Cut Comes as Renewables Surge
The three previously mentioned technologies saw a 1% increase in revenue, generating $249bn by the end of 2012. As entire countries are making decarbonisation a reality, renewable’s market share in the global energy market also saw a huge jeep – from 1.1% in 2011 to 19% twelve months later.
However, the revenue growth in the sector seemed flat this year in Clean Edge’s report, as the cost of producing solar panels plummeted.
“We always knew each doubling of [solar PV] installation would reduce prices about 18%,” said Clean Edge founder, Ron Pernick. Explaining further, Pernick said that solar is expanding rapidly – more rapidly than they could have hoped. The solar sector has doubled in size once in every one or two years since 2000. Whilst installations grew to 31GW of actively productive photovoltaic cells in 2012, revenue was down 19%.
The large amount of installations coupled with a narrowing profit margin has left solar energy in need of investment, something Pernick says the US government would be taking responsibility for, in the same manner they do for oil and gas.
Helping the Renewable energy market stay on the up were several large investments. Amongst which were Google who, thanks to the acquisition of a Texas windfarm, now produce 2GW from wind alone.
Clean Edge’s report comes less than two months after a Bloomburg report revealed that investment in clean energy fell by 11% in 2012.
Renewables Energy Surge & Cheaper Solar Panels.