The three major clean energy sectors – solar photovoltaics (PV), wind energy and biofuels – are expected to reach $325.9 billion by 2019, according to Clean Edge’s Clean Energy Trends 2010 (PDF – Free registration required


Clean Edge predicts that solar PV will grow from $30.7 billion in 2009 to $98.9 billion in 2019. Wind power will grow from $63.5 billion in 2009 to $114.5 billion in 2019, and ethanol and biodiesel will grow from 2009’s $44 billion to $112.5 billion in 2019.

Clean energy will also continue to drive the creation of new jobs.

“From the smart grid and energy efficiency to renewable energy generation and advanced battery storage, clean tech continues to be a major driver of regional job growth, economic recovery, and technological competitiveness,” said Ron Pernick, Clean Edge co-founder and managing director.

Clean Edge projects that wind and solar alone will create 3.3 million global jobs in the next decade.

Clean-energy investments have grown from just .09 percent of total U.S. VC funding in 2001 to 12.5 percent in 2009, totaling $2.2 billion in U.S. investments in 2009.

Some believe that clean energy will be Silicon Valley’s third era of innovation, following the region’s innovation leadership in the personal computers and the internet.

"Energy is the biggest opportunity Silicon Valley has ever seen," T.J. Rodgers, the founder of Cypress Semiconductor and chairman of SunPower, which makes PV panels, told the San Jose Mercury News. According to Deloitte, California companies received 40 percent of global cleantech VC funding in 2009.

Clean Energy Trends 2010 is a required read for anyone interested in the clean energy sector. The highlight is the report’s five top trends, which are beyond the scope of this article but are worth pointing out (and exploring further):

1. Carbon as a Feedstock: Win-Win or Pipe Dream?
2. Steep Drop in Photovaltaic-technology Price Drives Solar
3. Biomass Fires up Utilities and District Heating
4. Clean-Tech Megaprojects See Big Advances - and Big Challenges
5. High Speed Rail Surges Ahead – But at What Cost?

(Image: Wikipedia)

By Mark Alvarez