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Top Technologies in Sustainable Energy in 2015 (Technical Insights)

  • May 2015
  • 164 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 2996443

Summary

Table of Contents

scope

The research service provides an in depth analysis of the top 10 technologies that is expected to have the highest impact in the energy industry in 2015. Each technology is analyzed in terms of its innovation landscape, IP landscape, industry drivers and restraints, and technology adoption region-wise. Key partnerships, funding deals and the overall market potential are also highlighted. The research service also provides a trend analysis of the sustainable energy sector and the key challenges of the sector.The research service provides an in depth analysis of the top 10 technologies that is expected to have the highest impact in the energy industry in 2015. Each technology is analyzed in terms of its innovation landscape, IP landscape, industry drivers and restraints, and technology adoption region-wise. Key partnerships, funding deals and the overall market potential are also highlighted. The research service also provides a trend analysis of the sustainable energy sector and the key challenges of the sector.

Top 10 Technologies for Sustainable Energy

1 Lithium Batteries
2 Unconventional Oil
3 Bioenergy
4 Waste Heat Recovery
5 Microgrid
6 Portable Renewable Power
7 Fuel Cells
8 Floating LNG
9 Big Wind
10 Low Voltage DC

Analysis of Sustainable Energy Trends from 2013 to 2015

- Continued Interest in Energy Storage:
Energy storage has remained the top technology in the Sustainable Energy cluster for the last 3 years, driven by the high number of patent applications, R&D funding, as well as the future market potential. Energy storage also has high disruptive potential for the energy industry, as the combination of energy storage with renewable energy can potentially replace fossil fuel-based energy on a large scale.
- Rise of Shale Oil / Gas
Shale energy has significantly impacted the energy industry, particularly in the last 5 years as the high price of oil contributed to the meteoric rise of the industry, mainly in the US. Unfortunately, the increased production of shale energy ultimately contributed to the current slowdown of the energy sector when supply outstripped demand, causing a sharp drop in global oil prices.
- Smart Grid to Microgrid
The transformation of the national electricity grid is inevitable with the increasing deployment of renewables. The complexity of the future electricity grid has drawn the attention of not only renewable energy developers but also energy storage providers and system integrators. A key supportive grid infrastructure is ICT, with applications including grid security, big data, and predictive analytics. Instead of depending on the rollout of smart grid technologies, regulators are now piloting microgrid initiatives first.

Key Challenges

1 Drop in Oil Prices
- The sudden drop in oil prices beginning from June 2014 has tremendously impacted the energy sector, particularly the shale and tar sands industry, which conventionally have higher production costs.
- Low oil prices have also dampened the interest in renewables, such as biofuels, which require high oil prices to remain economically viable.

2 Tough Economic Outlook
- A tough economic outlook has been predicted for the energy sector due to the low oil prices. The majority of oil and gas players have already slashed their exploration budgets by half. In addition, energy companies with high levels of debt will have to fight for survival during this tough period, and will likely be potential targets for acquisition.

3 Impact of China’s Policies
- China’s impressive economic growth in the last decade has made the country a world leader in solar and wind technologies, as well as an adopter of such technologies. Unfortunately, massive construction of solar manufacturing capacity has resulted in overcapacity. This has resulted in halving of solar energy prices, thus putting many solar manufacturers in jeopardy.
- China’s shift away from coal-based energy has also caused global coal prices to drop significantly. This shift is mainly driven by China’s problem with urban air pollution, as well as slowing growth.

4 Dependence on Public Funding
- The long technology lifecycle for energy technologies (which can be a decade or more) have resulted in a much lower volume of venture capital funding, in comparison to other sectors such as IT and healthcare.
- Most energy technologies are still highly dependent on government funding.

5 Risk of Policy Changes
- Changes to government policy can highly influence the renewable sector. Termination of supportive policies can immediately reverse the gains made by the renewable energy industry in that specific country, as evidenced in Australia and Spain.
- The likelihood of policy changes when a new government is voted in can also pose a significant threat to new renewable projects, as the new government may revoke the approval of such projects at a later time.

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