Reports Bolster Support For Clean Energy

Two new reports on clean energy - an emerging industry that is being knocked around like a tennis ball in this economic environment - are out.

The first, produced by a venture capital firm, takes aim at some of the arguments against alternative power sources. The other, generated by Pike Research, reports on 10 trends in clean energy for this year and beyond.

We link to them here and here.

In a study entitled, "Making the case for clean energy," officials with the private equity firm Hudson Clean Energy Partners attack central tenets among skeptics, including the belief that renewable energy is too expensive.

Hudson's study notes that the cost of producing renewable-energy technology is falling rapidly; that power from wind, solar and geothermal does not require feedstock and thus is not subject to commodity price fluctuations; and that the technologies are close to parity with conventional sources even without accounting for the cost in carbon emissions.

(That contention, by the way, was bolstered by General Electric last week when its global research director said that solar power may be cheaper than fossil fuels in five years.)

The Hudson report puts it this way: "It is apparent the... key arguments put forth by clean-energy technology skeptics are flawed or unfounded."

Pike Research, which studies clean energy, made some noteworthy observations about the future of the industry, including:

  • The growth of utility-owned solar projects, particularly in California;
  • More off-shore wind farms;
  • An increase in water-borne solar arrays;
  • Advancement of solar and wind technologies;
  • Growth in waste-to-energy market in Europe and China;
  • More geothermal development in the U.S., especially in California and Nevada;
  • Direct current electricity may become more prevalent.