The global wind power industry will expand more than six-fold over the next ten years, growing from a $7.5 billion industry in 2003 to approximately $47.6 billion in 2013. Wind power is part of a clean energy market expected to post significant gains over the next decade, says a new report from Clean Edge Inc, a California energy research firm. It predicts solar will grow more than six times to $30.8 billion in the same time frame, while the fuel cell and distributed hydrogen market will expand from a $700 million industry today to $13.6 billion. "Assuming that solar, wind, and fuel cells continue their year-over-year growth, we foresee the clean energy market reaching $92 billion by 2013," says Clean Edge's Ron Pernick. "New government policies and continued investment from venture capitalists and multinationals are playing a critical role in what we see as a bright future for clean energy growth." The report, titled Clean Energy Trends 2004, argues that in addition to supportive government policies, more money for research and commercialisation and continuing advances in technology will be needed to bring clean energy into the mainstream. It tracks trends influencing the renewables market, including how some utilities using green power as a price hedge for customers, how China is poised to embrace new energy technologies, and how Europe is the leader in wind production with 70% of the global market and how state and local government in the US are picking up the slack as federal support for renewables fades.
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