Renewable energy markets have evolved rapidly over the years. Renewable energy sources supplied around 16.7% of global energy consumption in 2010 and continue to grow steadily in 2011 predominantly in all end-use sectors namely transport, power and heating and cooling. But, 2012 did not prove to lucrative year for the green technology. Global activity is accelerated by the heightened cost competitiveness of renewable technologies. For example, photovoltaic (PV) modules decreased by 50% in 2011, still the sector faced enormous challenges in 2012 such as the Eurozone debt crisis, decreased carbon prices and shale gas boom and uncertainty in U.S. tax credit system.
[box_dark]Global Investments over the Years:[/box_dark]
Global investment in renewable energy resources such as power and fuel increased 17% in 2011 with developing economies contributing around 35% of the total investment and developed countries contributing around 65% of the investment. One of the dominant features that weakened green technology in 2012 was the lack of public support for renewable energy in most developing countries. The year 2011 saw increased investments in renewable energy market during a period of uncertain economic growth in developing countries and such issues posed a serious risk to the progress towards the road to a “green economy”.
However, 2012 saw all renewable energy investments being finalized and released with a deceleration in the wind and solar area. Insiders attribute this to various reasons such as the Chinese difficulty in building regional power grids, public investment failures in the United States and Europe’s excessive subsidies. Still, from a positive global perspective, the total world capacity of solar and wind has continued to grow and is estimated to be seven times higher that it was a decade ago. The wind and solar power resources accounted for nearly 1.2 million full time jobs worldwide. In addition, wind and solar PV’s accounted for nearly 40% and 30%of renewable capacity, respectively, in 2011.
Investment in wind and solar sector saw manufacturers caught in overcapacity, fierce product prices and diving product prices. With renewable energy rising rapidly year after year, renewable capacity continues to rely on wind and solar energy. Pertaining to the investments in renewable resources through public markets in 2010, wind and solar power claimed the first and the second place respectively in terms of new equity raising values. The wind sector was down by 2% and the solar sector was down by 23%.
From the perspective of world nations, both developed and developing, wind and solar sector have shown promising traits. For example, India saw enormous increase in clean energy investment in 2011 with wind and the solar sector leading the way. While, the Middle Eastern countries suffered a setback in wind and solar capacity installation caused by the Arab spring. The United States aided by Google’s commitment towards green-tech R&D, Tesla’s prosperity and other global factors has begun improving its energy investment plans and techniques. The performance of solar sector in Italy and Germany was attributed to rooftop photovoltaic installations. This was considered a shrewd move from property owners who took advantage of the large scale solar projects in United States and Spain.
The best example of economic “greening” achieved in the last decade was in the power sector. In 2010, renewable power accounted for nearly 34% of new generation capacity while it increased to 44% in 2011. Sustainability is no longer an ideology but a necessity for the future. To support this, in 2011, developed countries increased and strengthened their share of investment in renewable sources, power and fuel while developing countries are rising steadily. During early 2012, billionaire Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Holdings issued a $850 million bond for a PV project highlighting the importance of green-tech as an instrument sustaining renewable energy projects.