The Clean Energy Sector is Here to Stay

Janelle Pagnucco | May-14-12

The Clean Energy Sector: Solar Power, Biofules & Wind Energy


Energy is something used and sought by people every second of every day. At its root, energy is essential for survival. This, combined with the drive for environmentally-friendly methods of capturing the earth’s resources, is one reason why developments in the renewable and clean-energy sector are capturing the marketplace and driving career choices.

Earlier this year the clean-tech research and advisory firm Clean Edge published their Clean Energy Trends 2012 report; the 11th edition of their annual series that is considered to be the signature clean-energy economy report for the industry. The full report examines market trends and capital investments in solar power, wind and biofuel ventures, and forecasts the growth of this sector.

Overall, clean-energy markets are expected to continue to surge despite the not-so-favourable economic and political climate of 2011. According to the report, global revenue for solar PV, wind power and biofuels rose 31%, growing from $188.1 billion in 2010 to nearly a quarter a trillion dollars, $246.1 billion in 2011. Further growth is projected for the next 10 years, with forecasted total revenue falling close to half a trillion dollars by 2021:

Global Clean-Energy Projected Growth (2011-2021)

These numbers are impressive and reassuring for those looking for reduced global dependency on fossil fuels. Beyond providing an economic perspective, the report also outlines 5 key trends that will impact the clean-energy sector in the foreseeable future:

  1. The Few, The Proud, The Green: Military Leads Clean-Energy Deployment
  2. Japan Moves Toward Cleaner Post-Nuclear Future
  3. Deep Commercial Building Retrofits Reap Major Efficiency Savings
  4. Waste-to-Resource Breakthroughs Attract Attention – and Investment
  5. New Energy Storage Solutions Embolden the Grid

For more information, you can access the full report for free here.

These trends align with the fact that there is a need for energy solutions and the rewards that renewable and clean-energy technologies offer, including minimizing our environmental footprint. Simply put, clean energy is becoming a mainstream business, with the demand for energy forecasted to increase by 50% by the year 2025.

How do you get involved?

Here are a few occupations associated with the renewable and clean-energy sector:

  • Biochemist and Biophysicist – make use of their knowledge on biological processes such as cell development and growth to both discover and enhance renewable energy sources from plants; biofuels.
  • Wind Energy Developer – involved in large scale projects from site selection, to mechanical design and construction, and even marketing of the final product; wind energy.
  • Clean Energy Researcher – hold technical backgrounds as environmental or mechanical engineers and are instrumental in the development of alternative energy sources, such as solar panels.

Along with the projected economic growth of the renewable and clean-energy sector, these professions are expected to have a favourable job outlook when it comes to employment growth over the next 10 years. Check out ECO Canada’s occupational profiles and the ECO Job Board for career opportunities in this field.


What developments in renewable and clean-energy technologies are you excited about?




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