Global Energy Technology Industry
The US Energy Information Administration estimates the global energy industry will show 55% growth between the present-day market situation and that of 2035. Energy demand is rising as the world’s population of over 6.5 billion continues to climb, forecast to reach 9 billion over the next three decades, representing an increasing market for energy technology.
The EU Strategic Energy Technology Plan encompasses several initiatives to invest in energy technologies. The plan includes investments over a decade as follows: $9 billion for bioenergy; $13 billion for CO2 capture, transport, and storage; $6 billion for wind energy; $16 billion for solar energy; $2 billion for an electric grid initiative; between $7 billion and $10 billion for sustainable nuclear energy; and $1 billion in the five-year period ending 2013 for fuel cells and hydrogen.
Leading Market Segments
- Clean technology encompasses renewable energy, electric motors, green chemistry, green transportation, Greywater, lighting and information technology. Clean technology involves appliances, services and processes used in the production of electricity and fuels with minimal damage to the environment.
- Increasingly aware of the negative environmental impact of certain energy sources, governments are investing more heavily in clean fuel programs. The National Energy Technology Laboratory, under the US Department of Energy (DOE) focuses on researching technologies with its hydrogen and clean fuels program. The FutureGen Industrial Alliance is involved in developing technology for the capture and storage of carbon. The DOE invested $1 billion in 2010 in collaborative efforts with the FutureGen Industrial Alliance and Ameren Energy Resources to create and put into action the FutureGen 2.0 project.
- The worldwide market for smart grid storage technologies will exceed $4.5 billion in 2014, according to TechNavio research. Smart grids are electrical grids used to maximize electrical savings. Smart grids anticipate electricity consumption and react accordingly to reduce expense, maximize supply options and minimize environmental harm. State investment is driving growth in this market, aided by partnerships with other branches, such as information and communication technology, and power electronics. Market leaders include Ice Energy LLC, Xtreme Power, Altair Nanotechnologies, Premium Power Corporation, and Beacon Power.
- The market for primary and secondary batteries in the US is forecast to increase close to 5% a year, reaching almost $17 billion in 2015, according to Freedonia. The market will be fuelled by rising demand for electronic device battery replacements and better quality, longer-lasting batteries.
- Wind energy investment, focusing mainly on turbines, is forecast to rise over 5.5% annually, to reach $135 billion in 2014, reports Freedonia. According to the EU Wind Energy Association, wind power capacity topped installation in 2009 out of all technology for generating electricity, at almost 40%. Renewable energy technologies globally represented over 60% of new power generating capacity in the same year. In 2009, $13 billion was invested in EU wind farms.
- Two solar electric technologies, namely photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP), have received over $170 million for research and development. Both are expected to be cost competitive by 2015.
Top players in the energy technology industry include air conditioning systems provider Advantix Systems, US Fortune-500 electric power company Duke Energy, Energy Xtreme, Entergy Corporation, Bonneville Power Administration with net revenues from power services for 2011 through August of $70 million, Solar Frontier, and Xtreme Power.
The United Nations has said if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut by 70% within the next 30 years, the world will face detrimental climate system consequences. This makes research and development in clean energy technologies and in rendering existing energy solutions environmentally friendly mandatory. As governments seek to limit environmental damage by the generation of energy, green energy technologies are set to receive favorable legislative and financial support.
Leading Industry Associations
- International Energy Agency www.iea.org
- Energy Technologies Institute www.energytechnologies.co.uk
- US National Energy Technology Laboratory www.netl.doe.gov
- Common Wealth Scientific and Industrial Research Association www.csiro.au
- World Wind Energy Association www.wwindea.org/technology
- European Commission, Energy Technology and Innovation http://ec.europa.eu/energy/technology