STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
BCC Research’s goal in conducting this study was to determine the current status of the global market for renewable energy sources and then to assess their growth potential over a 5-year period from 2010 to 2015. Integrated studies covering renewables have become unusual due to their rapid growth and differing characteristics; moreover, we were particularly interested in assessing the possibility that renewables will begin to compete with each other as well as with fossil fuels for market share, government subsidies, and public support. We also wished to examine the impact on the market brought about by the surging global demand for energy, the impact of climate change on alternative fuels, improvements in technology, and the availability of new materials. Our key objective was to present a comprehensive overview of the current markets for renewable energy supplies and the future directions they make take.
A companion BCC Research report covering green technologies will be available in 2010-11-15. Topics will include combined heat and power plants, waste-to-energy, utility-level storage, the smart grid, smart meters and home energy management, energy efficiency in buildings, lighting and internal combustion engines, electric and hybrid vehicles and more.
REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY
Market studies have become increasingly “stove-piped” regarding green technology in general and renewable energy sources specifically. This is natural. Each of the sources of renewable energy employs differing technologies, has differing constraints, and offers different possibilities to differing classes of users.
However, bringing renewable energy sources together allows an assessment of the combined contribution they can make in reducing CO2 emissions, helping countries achieve energy independence, conserving natural resources, and bettering the environment in various ways. Looking at renewables in a single report also allows an assessment of policy-relevant issues in terms of gauging where support is warranted, how close some energy sources are in terms of providing significant contributions to the portfolio of available resources, and what metrics might be useful in deciding what energy sources are best-equipped to satisfy the needs of individual countries and regions.
SCOPE OF REPORT
The scope of this report is intentionally wide. We cover the major sources of renewable energy as primary fuels—hydroelectric, wind, solar, liquid biofuels for transportation, geothermal, and oceanic sources (wave, tidal and thermal). There is no shortage of reports on each of these in the marketplace. What is lacking, and what this report is intended to provide, is a global perspective that places each of these sources in a relevant context for decision makers in both the public and private sectors.
This report is intended for professionals at several levels working in the energy and/or environmental field. Although the report is structured around specific technologies, it is largely nontechnical in nature. That is, it is concerned less with theory and jargon than with what works, how much of the latter the market is likely to purchase, and at what price.
As such, the report’s main audience is executive management, marketing professionals, and financial analysts. It is not written specifically for scientists and technologists, although its findings concern the market for their work, including the availability of government and corporate research funding for different technologies and applications, so it should interest them as well.
Others who should find the report informative include government agencies and environmental and public policy interest groups concerned with energy, sustainable development, and the environment.
METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES
Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this study. BCC Research surveyed approximately 33 companies to obtain market data. Included were manufacturers, utilities, regulators, environmental analysts and reporters, and commercial consumers. In addition, we compiled data from current financial and trade information and government sources.
Thomas Fuller has been a market research analyst for 16 years and has published numerous reports on technology products and market issues. Fuller has broad experience in covering regulatory and consumer issues. He is the author of a book on climate change, and his work on bibliometrics is regularly cited in books and magazines.
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The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice; nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or its use.