Clean energy trends in 2011 and beyond include greater product diversity in wind, solar technology, growth of geothermal power, investor-owned utilities once again owning, developing new renewable projects, revival of DC transmission, report finds

BOULDER, Colorado , May 31, 2011 (press release) – As the clean energy industry emerges from a challenging period caused by the global economic downturn, it is entering a stage of rapid change in which business models are being transformed against a backdrop of regulatory uncertainty. In several key sectors, the market is shifting back toward business structures and technologies that were once abandoned, but are now being revived. A new white paper from Pike Research identifies 10 key trends that are part of this transformation. The paper, which includes commentary and predictions about the state of the clean energy industry in 2011 and beyond, is available for free download on Pike Research’s website.

“As the clean energy industry matures and as it simultaneously comes to grips with economic challenges, market leaders are experimenting with new business models, both at a large scale and on a distributed basis,” says senior analyst Peter Asmus. “At the same time, key industry players are utilizing an increasingly wider diversity of technology options, especially in the solar and wind sectors.”

Key clean energy trends that Pike Research is watching in 2011 and beyond include the following:

- The revival of direct current (DC) transmission and distribution technologies
- China’s rise as the most important global market for waste-to-energy power plants
- New rules for economies of scale, from huge wind turbines as large as 10 megawatts (MW) to small modular nuclear reactors that could power a shopping center or a business complex
- Greater diversification of technology choices in solar, including a resurgence of concentrated solar power (CSP) and concentrated solar PV (CPV)
- More product diversity in the wind power sector, both in terms of design and scale, including more vertical axis and two-bladed turbine designs and the increasing importance of mid-sized turbines (100 kW to 1 MW)
- The movement of power plants to marine sites, including the growth of offshore wind, hydrokinetic wave and tidal generators, and even floating solar photovoltaics (PV) on water-based sites
- Growth in geothermal power generation, largely due to state renewable portfolio standards (RPS) in the western United States
- Investor-owned utilities returning to ownership/development of new renewable generation projects

Pike Research’s white paper, “Clean Energy: Ten Trends to Watch in 2011 and Beyond”, presents ten key trends shaping future markets for clean energy including not only renewable energy – solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydrokinetic – but also natural gas-fired microturbines and nuclear power. Most of these technologies will become integral elements of the clean energy mix. Conclusions and predictions presented in this paper draw from a broad array of Pike Research reports, with market forecasts included for key sectors. A full copy of the white paper is available for free download on the firm’s website.

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The company’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. For more information, visit or call +1.303.997.7609.

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