World-wide growth in the renewable energy industry is set to reach more than USD $250 billion by the year 2017. In 2007, the biofuels market reached $25.4 billion globally, 40 percent of which came from the U.S. Hence, there is approximately $225 billion of market opportunity over the next seven years.
Worldwide initiatives are pushing the energy sector towards renewable sources of energy and fuel. This industry is still in its infancy and is expected to enjoy a very long period of exponential growth before any market shakedown or consolidation will occur.
In the U.S., it is projected that 250 gigawatts (GW) of new generating capacity will be required between 2009 and 2035; of this capacity, 37 percent will come from renewable energy sources. Nonhydro-electric renewable generation will account for 41 percent of the growth in total electricity generation from 2008 to 2035. Power generated from biomass is expected to grow from 0.9 percent in 2008 to 5.5 percent in 2035. A large portion of this increase comes from increased co-firing – a process in which biomass is mixed with coal in coal-firing plants.
In “An Energy Policy for Europe”, published by the Commission of the European Communities, it is said that “for 2050 and beyond, the switch to low carbon in the European energy system should be completed, with an overall European energy mix that could include large shares for renewables, sustainable coal and gas”.
ecoTECH’s CHP Bio-Energy division is poised to take advantage of the growing demand and infrastructure for renewable energy sources. In the US, the Climate Bill currently being pushed would create a Renewable Energy Standard (“RES”) that would require large utilities in each state to produce an increasing percentage of their electricity from renewable sources.
Qualifying renewable sources are wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, marine and hydrokinetic energy, biogas and biofuels derived exclusively from eligible biomass, landfill gas, wastewater-treatment gas, coal-mine methane, hydropower projects built after 1992, and waste-to-energy projects including municipal solid waste (MSW).
With proven technology, project development and management, ecoTECH is positioned to grow exponentially to meet this unprecedented market opportunity.
The current coal power industry remains the top power producer in the world due to the abundance of supply and low cost of production. As environmental concerns regarding emissions from coal burning power plants move towards more stringent requirements, the coal industry faces challenges in adapting their operations to meet these requirements.
Coal is under particular scrutiny as power plants utilizing this type of fuel emit twice as much CO2 than gas, threatening to worsen climate change. As well, coal is an abundant and reliable source of energy for many countries and currently represents one-third of total electricity production in Europe (Poland is 92% dependent on coal for electricity and Germany around 50%, according to the Commission). Coal is therefore likely to remain an important component of the EU’s energy mix for the foreseeable future, with efforts also being made outside Europe to “clean up” the fuel, especially in China and the US, which are home to the world’s largest reserves. Now coal-fuelled power producers are turning to “green-fuel” biofuel to meet their targeted emissions reduction.
The EU and other countries now legally mandate the use of biomass sources of energy for domestic and industrial use. Wood pellet / briquette biomass (green-fuel) is the most accepted and feasible source of this energy and demand for wood briquettes in Europe is forecast to increase up to ten-fold from the current 7.5 million tons to as much as 75 million tons by 2020 - a current dollar market increase from $1.725 billion to $17.25 billion. ecoTECH’s torrefied briquettes (Green Fuel) eliminate the problems inherent in standard wood pellets and are compatible with most coal handling and processing systems. ecoTECH is strategically positioned to take advantage of this growing market niche with substantial long term wood fiber biomass supply MOUs and contracts in place as well as more being developed.
Global demand for electric power is expected to grow at a an average rate of approximately 3% per year, which means that the current demand will double during the next 20 years to approximately 237 billion Megawatts, according to the EIA’s high growth forecast.