Controversial Cleantech: Three Alternative Energy Resources Spurred by Government Support, Spurned by Extreme Greens
Mar 10, 2010 - MARKETWIRE
As controversial as they are viable, three alternative energy resources are gaining government support as practical solutions in the global clean-energy revolution: carbon emissions trading, clean coal, and nuclear power. Government stimulus monies worldwide are funding clean coal research and technologies and safe nuclear power generation as cap-and-trade emissions options remain under debate.
The carbon emission trading market hangs in the balance as some countries enact programs and others, like the United States, dawdle over the decision. In recent years, significant global governmental involvement in the stabilization of the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases has facilitated tremendous growth in the market for carbon emissions trading. The value of the carbon market grew from $727 million in 2004 to $118 billion in 2008, representing a 256% CAGR over the period, according to SBI Energy's Carbon Emissions Trading Markets Worldwide.
Pending the outcome of future regulatory and policy decisions, further strong growth is expected in the carbon emission trading market as the global economy recovers from the recent economic recession. Bolstered by continued growth in volume, the global carbon market value is projected to grow by 68% per year from less than $84 billion in 2009 to $669 billion in 2013. (http://www.sbireports.com/Carbon-Emissions-Trading-1926753/)
With nearly 2,250 pounds of carbon dioxide emitted per megawatt hour electricity produced from an average coal plant in the U.S., the volume of carbon dioxide far outpaces other pollutants emitted from coal combustion, according to Clean Coal Energy Technologies: Markets and Trends Worldwide. The most promising option for significant carbon emissions reductions for the future is carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). Carbon capture and sequestration technologies involve the removal, or capture, of carbon dioxide emissions from the exhaust stream from coal combustion or gasification processes and the subsequent disposal, or sequestration, of these emissions in such a way that they do not enter the atmosphere. As a result, carbon capture and sequestration has the potential to provide near-elimination of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion.
SBI Energy reveals that global generation of clean coal-powered electricity is currently valued at over $61 billion with the value of electricity generated through clean coal technologies expected to increase by nearly 11% per year to over $102 billion in 2013. Projections are that the aggregate volume of clean coal electricity generation will grow by 10% per year from 1,249 terawatt hours in 2009 to 1,792 terawatt hours in 2013. (http://www.sbireports.com/Clean-Coal-Energy-1926747/)
Compared to other fuel types such as coal, gas, and petroleum, nuclear still remains the cheapest energy source to produce in the U.S. but expensive to operate and maintain. Nevertheless, nuclear technology is emerging again as a viable energy source for dozens of nations worldwide. Countries are analyzing their nuclear technology capabilities as a means to appease their growing concerns over global warming and climate change, the associated need to reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions, and the rising costs of competing energy fuels and technologies. The U.S., France, and Japan comprised more than half of the global value of nuclear energy technology in 2009, according to Nuclear Energy Technologies Worldwide: Components and Manufacturing.
SBI Energy reveals that the U.S. is the global leader in nuclear energy technology manufacturing, having a total market value of $51 billion in 2009. By 2013, SBI Energy projects that the U.S. market value will reach $61 billion, growing at an eleven-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3%. (http://www.sbireports.com/Nuclear-Energy-Technologies-1926673/)
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