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March 15, 2011

Keep the Good News Coming

The solar industry during the last decade out-shined even the most optimistic projections, according to a major report released yesterday by the research firm Clean Edge, Inc. And the momentum behind the clean-energy sector going into this decade is just as bright.

The solar PV industry rose from $2.5 billion in 2000 to $71.2 billion in 2010 globally, the report says. The growth is seemingly exponential. "New installations reached 15.6 [gigawatts] worldwide in 2010, a more than doubling from 7.1 GW in 2009, representing the largest year-over-year increase on record."

Wind also enjoyed strong numbers -- something that other organizations have confirmed in their annual reports. Its figure as an industry in 2000 was just $4.5 billion compared to $60.5 billion today. Clean Edge expects that number for wind to double over the next decade. "U.S.-based venture capital investments in clean tech increased 46 percent from $3.5 billion in 2009 to $5.1 billion in 2010. Clean Edge analysis found that clean-tech's percentage of total U.S. venture capital investments continued to rise, accounting for a record 23.2 percent of total U.S. venture activity in 2010."

Here are more numbers to relish:


Courtesy Ron Pernick.

These numbers reflect how easy it is these days to find inspirational business stories about clean-energy companies. Articles about expansion and job opportunities abound. In today's news, for example, BrightSource Energy said it has eclipsed its initial fundraising investment goal and has set a new goal of $125 million. In another story, the Marines at Camp Pendleton are making headlines, where a 1.4 MW solar system is being installed. These stories about innovative, clean-energy projects pop up everyday. This is what a clean-energy economy looks like.

-- Brian Foley



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