Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Thursday, March 22, 2012

5 renewable energy trends to watch in 2012

GreenTech Pastures
By Heather Clancy March 13, 2012, 8:40am PDT

Summary: Advances in energy efficiency and grid-connected storage projects shape investments over the next 12 months, according to a new report from cleantech research firm Clean Edge.

Green technology and renewable energy research firm Clean Edge reports that the solar photovoltaic, wind power and biofuels markets grew 31 percent last year to reach $246.1 billion, despite the bad rap that renewable energy has been suffering since the Solyndra bankruptcy.

That’s one of the key findings in the firm’s “Clean Energy Trends 2012″ report. All three technology areas had a record year, according to Clean Edge. For example, solar installations grew by more than 69 percent from 15.6 gigawatts in 2010 to more than 26 gigawatts in 2011, largely due to rapidly decreasing solar technology costs. Last year was the largest year for wind power installations ever, reaching 41.6 gigawatts. (China alone has installed more than 40 percent of the global wind power capacity.)

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