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The Year Ahead in Clean Tech

Smart Tech
Clean Tech
Black Tech
Green Tech

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.

Just kidding, we love our friends at Pike Research and appreciate their high quality analyses of clean energy markets (though they have yet to take my advice and consult the Magic 8 Ball). 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 (eg. 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

And there you have it…hey, wake up!


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.

Follow Erica Etelson @iluvsolar.


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