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Global Energy & Environment Industry Analysis

With world population set to hit 9 billion by 2040, the global energy market will see demand grow by more than half its present level by 2035, reports the US Energy Information Administration. The need for environmental protection is rising hand in hand with energy demand. The environmental goods and services industry is expected to expand by 45% in the decade ending 2015, at which time the market could reach $800 billion.

Because energy production has such a direct impact on the environment, the two markets remain tightly interwoven. Legislative moves are forcing traditional energy sectors to adapt in order to respect environmental issues, and international agreements are encouraging worldwide collaboration to reduce pollution. Under the Kyoto Protocol, more than 35 countries and the EU have committed to respecting targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, weighted more heavily towards developed countries due to the disproportionate contribution industrialization in these countries has made to GHG emissions so far.

Governments are providing stronger backing for clean fuel through programs such as the National Energy Technology Laboratory, elaborated by the US Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE spent $1 billion in 2010 on the FutureGen 2.0 project, which aims to cut GHG emissions from power plants run on coal.

Key Energy Market Segments

Electricity: New electricity generation is expected to soar by nearly 85% to almost 26 trillion KWh in 2020, and 35 trillion kWh 15 years later, according to the US Energy Information Administration. MarketLine reports that the global electricity market will be worth close to $2,695 billion in 2014, representing 20,000 Terawatt-hours, a near-70% jump over a five-year period.

Coal: Specific energy sources are forced to change their methods to reduce the adverse effects of climate change. The coal industry, which produces over 40% of the world’s electricity and is responsible for the release of 12 billion tons of CO2 each year, is adapting to environmental concerns through the development of “clean coal” technologies. The coal industry represents 40% of CO2 produced in the generation and consumption of energy. The industry has already reduced CO2 emissions by 40% between the last century and today. Investment in clean coal technologies is estimated to reach $23 billion in 2011, reports Visiongain. The global coal market is forecast to see as much as 95% growth by 2015, by which time it will be worth $920 billion, according to MarketLine research.  

Renewable Energy: Governments are increasingly turning to renewable energy to meet a greater portion of the world’s energy demand while limiting adverse climate change. Renewable energy consumption is estimated to continue growing at 3% through 2035. The global renewables market was worth $322 billion in 2010, reports MarketLine. The market is expected to see 8.5% yearly growth, hitting close to $480 billion in 2015.

Nuclear: The global nuclear industry is expected to grow 4.5% yearly to 2015, at which point it would be worth more than $270 billion, according to MarketLine research. This would represent volume growth of nearly a fifth of today’s output levels, or 3,000 Gigawatt hours. In 2011, there were 435 nuclear reactors producing electricity throughout 30 countries.

Oil & Gas: Research from MarketLine shows that the oil and gas industry will likely see a 7% yearly increase, to reach $3,700 billion by 2015.

 World Energy-Related CO2 Emissions by Fuel Type *In Billion Metric Tons (2000-2035)

Environmental Services

Environmental awareness is playing an increasingly significant role in attitudes toward energy and consumption in general. Apart from government initiatives and international agreements to limit climate change, individual consumers are also driving certain market segments through increased demand. Green packaging demand is estimated to grow 6% yearly to make the market worth more than $210 billion in 2015, reports Freedonia. Growth will be led by demand for recycled content packaging in particular.

Generation of e-waste is expected to exceed 93 million tons in 2016, reports Markets and Markets. The demand for e-waste management is rising as the array of electronic products on the market increases and consumers opt to change electronic products such as mobile phones and laptop computers more frequently, generating rising levels of waste. The e-waste management market is expected to grow 17% yearly to a value of more than $20 billion in 2016.

Freedonia reports that the market for water treatment products will reach $65 billion in 2015. The market will be driven by industrialization and demand for potable water. The market for water disinfection products is forecast to rise 7% a year to 2014.

Market Outlook

The United Nations has called for a 70% reduction in GHG emissions over the next three decades. General awareness regarding the climate crisis is being fuelled by national initiatives, international cooperation between governments, and mainstream projects such Davis Guggenheim’s film, entitled An Inconvenient Truth, about Al Gore’s environmental campaigning. Both legislation enforcing clean energy practices and green consumerism are driving demand for alternatives to traditional energy consumption in an effort to avert climate disaster.

An increasingly climate-conscious global population is favoring renewable energy, recycling and increased safety measures concerning nuclear energy and fossil fuels. Technological advances, such as carbon capture systems and cost-effective clean energy solutions, will be a driving force to market growth moving forward. Demand for waste treatment is rising steadily in developing countries where urbanization is generating harmful waste. The global market for solid waste management is forecast to grow 7% yearly through 2015. As water becomes an increasingly scarce commodity, the global water treatment market will continue showing substantial growth.

According to the World Health Organization, if major changes are not implemented, more than 2.5 billion people will lack access to basic sanitation by 2015, putting pressure on governments to implement mandatory measures to secure a clean water supply.

Cumulative Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Region *In Billion Metric Tons

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