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Renewable energy sources form part of the solution to one of the biggest challenges the world faces – a growing need for energy while the earth’s climate is severely strained by greenhouse gases. In order to meet the objectives that exist, it is critical that an increasing proportion of the energy produced comes from energy types that do not cause emissions – such as wind, sun and waves. This means both business opportunities and challenges for many companies.
This report describes and analyzes renewable energy sources considered to be emerging markets, focusing on wind power, solar energy and wave energy. For renewable energy sources to play a greater role, they must be commercially sustainable. This in turn depends on how the cost of renewable energy develops, partly through industrial and technological development and partly through various forms of support. In addition, it is affected by the cost of conventional electricity generation. The trends in all these driving forces are favorable for renewable energy. The conclusions are that:
- Wind power and solar energy have reached a critical mass. They are already large markets today, and have a continued high growth rate. These are growth areas that may become the world’s largest industries in the future.
- For the foreseeable future, all areas will continue to need public support to be commercially viable.
- Renewable energy sources mean new business opportunities that can fundamentally change the structure and competitive situation in the electricity market – and Swedish companies are well placed to benefit from the growing markets.
- The dynamics between the various renewable energy sources risk them competing and inhibiting each other. This must be taken into account when investing and shaping policy.