Clean energy markets – especially for wind and solar power – continued to expand rapidly in 2011, even against a tough economic and political climate, increased industry consolidation and downward pricing pressure on manufacturers, finds a new report from research firm Clean Edge.
According to the report, combined global revenue for wind power, solar PV and biofuels rose 31% over 2010, growing from $188.1 billion in 2010 to $246.1 billion in 2011. The bulk of this expansion came from double-digit growth rates for both wind and solar deployment globally.
New installation capital costs for wind power totaled a record $71.5 billion in 2011 – up 18% from $60.5 billion in 2010 – and are projected to reach $116.3 billion in 2021. Last year's global wind power installations totaled 41.6 GW – the largest annual total for global installations on record.
China remained the global leader in new installations for the fourth year in a row, installing more than 40% of all global wind capacity, or 18 GW in total, according to the report.
In addition, U.S.-based venture-capital investments in cleantech increased 30% from $5.1 billion in 2010 to $6.6 billion in 2011. In fact, the Clean Edge analysis found that cleantech's percentage of total U.S. venture-capital investments accounted for a record 23.2% of total U.S. venture activity last year.