Faced with rising oil imports and mounting concerns over the environment, the U.S. and Canadian governments will undertake proactive initiatives to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels. In January 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Clean Energy Act. When enforced, this legislation expects to transfer more than $14 billion from certain subsidies to investments in clean energy. Likewise, the Canadian government has launched three new ecoENERGY initiatives for boosting renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These initiatives will likely provide new direction for the future growth of the North American renewable energy markets.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, North American Renewable Energy Market: Investment Analysis & Growth Opportunities, reveals that revenues in this market totaled $17.37 billion in 2006, and are likely to reach $24.6 billion in 2010.
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"Rising oil imports and the volatility of oil prices drives the United States to increase its renewable energy capacity," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Saranya Sundaram. "The Energy Policy Act was passed in the year 2005, targeting that the amount of renewable energy fuels consumed each year should reach 7.5 billion gallons by the year 2012. This is in line with U.S. President George Bush's vision to reduce 75 percent of the country's oil imports from the Middle East region by 2025."
Furthermore, the renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and renewable fuel standards mandates will likely propel the market's growth. RPS is a flexible market-driven policy formulated to ensure that a growing percent of electricity produces from renewable energy sources and is enforced in nearly 21 states in the United States. Keeping with the mandate's objectives, California has set a target of 12 percent of its total electricity to generate from wind and geothermal energy. New York State will make efforts to increase its total electricity generated from renewable energy sources from 19 percent in 2006 to 25 percent by 2013.
Nevertheless, increasing raw material costs, high initial capital outlay and raw material availability pose notable challenges for market participants and could hamper market growth.
"Raw materials supply constraints are being noted in the solar energy segment, where the manufacturers face a shortage of silicon, the key raw material for solar energy generation," says Sundaram. "The growth of the wind turbines sector could also be impacted by the short-term price increases caused by the high steel costs and shifting currency valuations."
Addressing these challenges, solar companies will increasingly invest in R&D aimed at finding a suitable substitute to silicon feedstock. Companies such as Nanosolar and Miasolé have begun to use copper alloy and copper-indium-gallium-diselenide, which are easier and flexible to use. Use of such technologies will also reduce solar energy cost.
North American Renewable Energy Market: Investment Analysis & Growth Opportunities is part of the Financial Benchmarking and Analysis Growth Partnership Services. It provides financial benchmarking analysis of the biometrics industry, including year-to-date performance of Frost & Sullivan renewable energy stocks and valuation multiples for renewable energy companies, growth monitor that ranks companies based on prospective revenue growth, and industry growth outlook that discusses market estimates until 2010. In this research service, Frost & Sullivan's expert analysts thoroughly examine the following energy markets: wind, solar, hydro, ethanol, biomass and geothermal. Interviews with the press are available.
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