The green energy market is growing due to different factors in different regions. Climate changes, energy security and environment are major factors for growth of the green energy market in Europe. In the U.S. and Japan, energy security is driving the green energy market to some extent. Higher demand for energy access and economic development are some of the major factors driving the green energy market in developing countries. Annual investments in green energy have been significantly higher in the recent years, demonstrating the growth gained by the green energy market. Additionally, a shift towards greener energy resources in the energy segment would lead to demands for enhanced processes, technologies and services, signifying an appealing opportunity for industry players. Determined energy policies combined with much lower cost of technology are expected to drive the growth of the green energy market over the coming years.
Green energy comes from resources which are naturally refilled on a human timescale such as tides, wind, rain, geothermal heat, sunlight and waves. Green energy replaces the conventional fuels in the sectors such as motor fuels, electricity generation, off grid energy services, and air and water heating or cooling. The increasing demands for energy sustainability and conventional sources of energy have increased the utilization of green sources. The policies, support, investments and regulations by the government in the sector are improving the growth of green energy market.
On the basis of type, the green energy market can be categorized as solar photovoltaic (PV), wind energy, hydroelectric power, bio-fuels and geothermal energy. Hydroelectric power is one of the largest sources of green energy globally as it fulfills about 15% to 21% demand for electricity depending on capacity factors. Solar photovoltaic consists of solar PV inverters such as string inverters, micro inverters and central inverters. Wind energy can be further subcategorized on the basis of type of wind energy turbines as horizontal axis wind turbines and vertical axis wind turbines.
Biofuels consist of two major fuels, biodiesel and bioethanol. Bioethanol had the largest market share and the U.S. and Brazil were the largest producers of bioethanol. But, biodiesel production was dominated by Europe, where Germany and France were the largest biodiesel producers globally. Geothermal energy can be further subcategorized on the basis of applications as electricity generation and direct use. Energy conservation systems in geothermal energy are flash steam, binary cycle and dry steam. On the basis of end-users, the green energy market can be categorized as commercial, industrial and residential.
Aggressive biodiesel initiatives and emergence of new feedstocks are some of the opportunities for the green energy market. Some of the factors driving the growth of the green energy market are need for energy security driving demand for green energy, climate change and environmental issues, and increased consistency and reducing costs increasing consumer demand for green energy. The higher relative cost of green energy technologies is one of the major factors restraining the growth of the green energy market.
Some of the major competitors in green energy market are Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd., Hanwha Q Cells GmbH, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) Ltd., Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd., Archer Daniels Midland Company, Aventine Renewable Energy Inc, JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd., Suzlon Energy Ltd., U.S. Geothermal Inc, Kyocera Solar, Inc., Enphase Energy, Inc., Trina Solar Ltd., Calpine Corporation, and First Solar, Inc.