Global Markets, Technologies and Devices for Energy Harvesting -- Focus on the Americas

Oct 2012| EGY111A| BCC Publishing

Report Highlights

  • The global energy harvesting market was valued at $323 million in 2011 and should reach $514 million in 2012. Total market value is expected to reach nearly $3.1 billion in 2017 after increasing at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43.2%.
  • The Americas are expected to have a value of $253 million in 2012 and $1.4 billion in 2017, a CAGR of 40.8%.
  • The U.S. market is expected to have value of $221 million in 2012 and nearly $1.1 billion in 2017, a CAGR of 36.8%.


Energy harvesters are interesting examples of nascent yet sophisticated technologies based on well-established scientific theories.  The average age of the scientific theories underlying the energy conversion technologies covered in this report is in the range of a hundred years.  Some energy harvesters, such as photovoltaic (PV) harvesters, are a mature, well-established technology; however, many new harvesting technologies have only been designed in the last five to 10 years.

As is explained later in the report, energy harvesting in the present day context relates to the tapping of existing ambient energy sources for use in power generation in non-grid applications and devices.

Energy harvesting leaves the field open for a wide range of uses.  While the scientific bases of energy conversion principles are indisputable and have been well understood for decades, their application remained restricted to limited domains in industry and heavy engineering.

This report is an effort to examine the technological and business motivations behind the new interest in the seemingly limitless number of energy harvesting applications and their market opportunities.


This study’s goals and objectives include the following:

  • Forecast the market size for energy harvesters in terms of dollar and unit sales.
  • Classify the market size for energy harvesters by key classification criteria in terms of dollar and unit sales.
  • Classify the market size for energy harvesters by energy source in terms of dollar and unit sales.
  • Classify the market size for energy harvesters by end application in terms of dollar and unit sales.
  • Classify the market size for energy harvesters by geographical regions in terms of dollar and unit sales.
  • Identify the market size for energy harvesters in key countries in terms of dollar and unit sales.
  • Highlight the roles played by major stakeholders and players.
  • Provide an overview of the activities of influential companies.
  • Examine crucial, innovative breakthroughs by means of a detailed patent analysis.


Energy harvesting is a nascent industry underpinned by some relatively old technologies.  It presents opportunities that are unique in their diversity and marketability.  However, the key driver for the proliferation of energy harvesters is the use of non-conventional materials in mainstream semiconductor fabrication technologies.  This has created limitless possibilities where every naturally-occurring energy generating source could be potentially be used in numerous applications.  The looming energy crisis and the global emphasis on the exploration of renewable energy sources have lent a sense of urgency to the development of the market.

This report examines the many factors shaping the energy harvesting market and attempts to present a snapshot of the end result of their mutual interaction in the shape of qualitative and quantitative analysis of the present day market. It then attempts to forecast how the market is likely to develop in the next five years.

In addition to the attractiveness of the energy harvesting market itself, there are more important reasons for exploring this subject.  Energy harvesting finds application in many industries and disciplines such as energy management, instrumentation, wireless and wireline communication, materials, nanotechnology and regulation. 

The report examines the energy harvesting market under the following key parameters:

  • Principal energy sources.
  • End applications.
  • Regional dynamics.
  • Key markets within countries.
  • Changes in average selling prices (ASPs).

The report presents an overview of the interplay between end-use markets and energy sources as well as between end-use markets and geographical regions.  It places one in the context of the other. 


This report presents the forecasts for energy harvesters for 2012 through 2017 on a volume and value basis.

Sales values are presented in U.S. dollars, while shipment volumes are presented in thousand units.  The choice of thousands as a denomination unit was dictated by the shipment volumes for specific categories, which would have otherwise appeared too insignificant.  It is important to note that energy harvesters can power wireless sensor nodes, which will ship by the billion in the future.  Energy harvesters will also power several other device categories that will not be as prolific in number as wireless nodes, but will experience tremendous growth as well. 

These forecasts are further broken down by energy source, end application and geographical region.

The report covers the following energy sources:

  • Solar and photovoltaic.
  • Thermal.
  • Vibration, displacement and mechanical (including biomechanical and electrostatic); also occasionally referred to as mechanical
  • Radiation and electromagnetic.
  • Chemical.

The breakdown of end-use applications includes:

  • Telecommunications.
  • Building, construction and household devices.
  • Energy exploration, generation and distribution.
  • Environmental and agricultural.
  • Industrial and automotive.
  • Defense.
  • Retail and logistics.
  • Medical.

Repetition of the list above and other lists is intentional so that the reader need not refer to previous chapters while browsing relevant market data.

The regional breakdown focuses on the following geographical areas:

  • The Americas.
  • Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
  • Asia-Pacific (APAC).

Country-specific analyses are included for the following countries:

  • United States.
  • Canada.
  • Brazil.
  • Mexico.
  • Germany.
  • France.
  • Italy.
  • Spain.
  • United Kingdom.
  • The Netherlands.
  • Russian Federation.
  • Israel.
  • South Africa.
  • Turkey.
  • Japan.
  • China.
  • South Korea.
  • India.
  • Indonesia.

The “Executive Summary” chapter provides the regional breakdown of the dollar sales of energy harvesters.

The “Fundamentals of Energy Harvesting” chapter introduces energy harvesting, its definition, history, drivers and challenges.  It also provides an overview of the larger market and breaks it down by the key characteristics of principal energy sources and end-use markets.

The “Global Markets for Energy Harvesters: Breakdown by Sources and End-use markets” chapter provides an in-depth picture of the energy harvester business opportunity.  The dollar sales and shipment volume market for energy harvesters are broken down by energy sources and then by the end-use markets.  The market for individual energy sources in turn is broken down by end-use markets.  The market for individual end-use markets is broken down by energy sources and geographical regions.

The “Regional Analysis” chapters take a closer look at the energy harvester market for the various regions highlighted in this report.

The “Major Participants in the Energy Harvesting Industry” chapter identifies the major categories of stakeholders involved in the development and commercialization of energy harvester technology.

The “U.S. Patent Analysis” chapter covers innovations that impact energy harvesters.  Patents are categorized in terms of energy sources and areas of value, as well on the basis of allocation by year, assignee countries and assignee organizations.


This report provides a granular analysis of the market for energy harvesters.  This report:

  • Breaks down the market by parameter measured in terms of dollar and unit sales.
  • Breaks down the market by energy sources in terms dollar and unit sales.
  • Breaks down the market by end-use application in terms of dollar and unit sales.  It further breaks down the volume and value sales of individual end-use markets by energy sources and geographical regions.
  • Breaks down the market by geographical region in terms of dollar and unit sales.
  • Identifies the market size of key markets within countries in terms of dollar and unit sales.

This report will be valuable to many industry participants, including the following:

  • Energy conversion specialists.
  • Semiconductor device makers.
  • Wireless chipset makers.
  • Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
  • End users and distributors.
  • Academic and research institutions.
  • Financial institutions.


Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this report.  BCC Research presents an analysis across the global market for energy harvesters based on reported revenue dollars and units shipped.  We also analyzed data gathered from various research sources via the Internet.  Interviews were conducted with well-placed industry sources.


The following sources have been referenced:

  • Primary research, including interviews with experts from companies operating in the handset and waveform domains.
  • Published industry data.
  • Shipment reports of non-listed companies.
  • 10-K reports.


Shalini Ramamurthy has extensive experience analyzing and evaluating advanced information technology, including telecommunications and optical networks.  She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics and Telecommunications from Kumaraguru College of Technology in Coimbatore, India, as well as a Master of Science degree in Telecommunications and Software Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.


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This publication provides informative material of a professional nature.  It does not constitute managerial, legal or accounting advice, nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide or an endorsement of any given product or company.  The information is intended to be as accurate as possible at the time it was written and was undertaken on a best-effort basis.  The views expressed are those of the author; they do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of the information, or for the interpretation of data or its use by others.  Projections involve risks and uncertainties that include but are not limited to technical risks associated with technology development, government regulatory approvals, political instabilities and access to capital.  The author assumes no responsibility for any losses or damages that might result due to reliance on this material.

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Title/Chapter NamePagesMember Price
Full Report: Global Markets, Technologies and Devices for Energy Harvesting -- Focus on the Americas147Free
Chapter- 1: INTRODUCTION5Free
Chapter- 7: U.S. PATENT ANALYSIS13Free
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