U.S. Bank Morgan Stanley has estimated that global sales from clean energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power and biofuels could grow to as much as $1 trillion a year by 2030. In the meantime, the market may hit $505 billion in sales by 2020 — almost 9 times the level in 2005. Not a bad idea to invest, right?
Well, maybe. While it’s a sure bet that renewable energy will grow in percentage sales of global energy sources; there’s no telling how rapid or sustained such growth might be. Morgan Stanley was clear to indicate that current numbers are based on bullish investments, the rising value of oil, and current worldwide concerns over global warming. A change in any number of these factors could affect the industry. From the article,
“The bank was particularly bullish on solar power. Market penetration of solar in electricity generation could rise from levels almost too small to measure in 2005 to 11.2 percent in 2030, while wind power could go from 0.9 percent to 9.6 percent by 2030, it said.
Solar would take more market share as costs decline for things like panels that convert the sun’s rays into power. The cost of solar power should sink from $8 per Gigawatt installed in 2005 to $1.60 per GW by 2030. Wind power, which was $2 per GW. would cost about the same through 2030, it said. Penetration of biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel in transportation could grow from around 1 percent in 2005 to 21 percent in 2030, it said, assuming cars boost fuel efficiency.”
While Morgan Stanley has been dipping its toes into the industry — with assistance for renewable energy companies going public — it plans to aggressively invest some $3 billion in carbon markets over the next five years. The solar stocks currently shining are still considered “volatile” by some (a bit of a enthusiasm bubble, perhaps?) but if you do your homework, it might not be a bad idea to familiarize yourself with an industry some are claiming will be the next “Industrial Revolution”. Good for the planet and potentially very good for your wallet.