The world is getting smarter
That’s my Dr. Seuss-inspired summary of last week’s Pike Research webinar on the year ahead in clean tech. Proceed with caution: From this point forward, if you’re not a clean tech geek, you may experience extreme boredom, drowsiness and restlessness. Do not attempt to operate heavy machinery while reading this blog.
Here are some takeaways from their presentation:
- The world is getting smart: Smart Energy, Smart Grids, Smart Meters, Smart Cars, Smart Cities. Really smart cities, mostly in Europe, are taking a holistic view, integrating clean energy infrastructure with electrified transport and mobile technologies.
- Black swan events like Fukushima and Sandy are fueling demand for clean energy.
- Markets to watch in 2013 are Africa – parts of which are deregulating energy markets to allow for foreign companies and distributed generation, Russia – investing heavily in fuel cells – and India.
- Global clean energy revenues – a little over $200 billion in 2012 – are projected to rise to $325 billion by 2017.
- Energy storage technology is the linchpin holding together the disparate sectors of the clean energy industry: wind, solar, biofuels, fuel cells, advanced batteries.
- Clean energy sectors tend not to collaborate or cross-pollinate, but the energy storage sector has a stake in promoting cross-sector collaboration so expect to see us getting better at this in the next few years.
- The “dash-for-gas” in the US is another market force that could force clean energy businesses to come together to build/lobby for infrastructure improvements that will benefit all sectors.
- Watch for big smart meter rollouts in France, the UK, China and Brazil.
- Growth of home energy management systems will be modest, with most growth in North America and Western Europe.
- Advanced batteries won’t achieve cost parity with conventional batteries in 2013, but a growing number of consumers will pay a premium for them because of lifetime cost savings.
This article was first published at Mosaic's blog.
Erica Etelson is a solar marketing consultant, mother and recovering lawyer. She studied political science at Columbia University and law at UC Berkeley. Her interest in solar began during high school and involved a lawn chair and tanning lotion. She moved on to a home solar array in 2002 and has worked in the solar industry since 2010.