Alternative energy market predictions for 2012

We asked Zintro experts to give us their predictions for the alternative energy market for 2012. They came back with what they are looking for in the coming year.

Alan Guinn, an expert in alternative energy, believes that alternative energy sources will take a hit in 2012. Some of the hit will be political in nature and some will be self-induced. “The self-induced part is the irrational exuberance that so many different alternative energy proponents have demonstrated for the past 10 years or so. Even before the technology has been proven, it seems, investors and advocates have immediately jumped on the bandwagon and tried to create government enthusiasm and funding for the product du jour,” says Guinn.

He offers two examples: the cellulosic ethanol issue, and the Solyndra Federal loan guarantees. “Cellulosic ethanol, a biofuel, was envisioned to help negate some of America’s dependence upon foreign oil, and so a government mandate was issued for production capacities before the technology had been fully proven and demonstrated in a full production facility/capacity,” he says. “Solyndra is similar in nature. With solar collectors currently at a low percentage efficiency, and production for the collectors centering in lower labor cost environments, the inevitable was bound to occur.”

Guinn sees alternative energy as viable, of course. “We will tap into wind, solar, and geothermal energy sources to negate many of our needs for fossil fuels. Are we there yet? No,” he says. “2012, I believe, will be a year of dispute, a year of arguments based on funding initiatives, tax deductions, and true costs of the alternative energy marketplace. Most key funding in 2012 will come, not from the government, but from committed entrepreneurs who fund their vision of change.”

Verte Consultants sees the main trend for 2012 as understanding power usage and using this knowledge to drive OPEX savings. “I think we will see the deployment of more site power monitoring solutions and intelligent cooling solutions, as well as telecom equipment upgrades to modern low power equipment. This will match site power usage to the feasible range for renewable power sources and drive uptake of green power solutions,” he says.

Ohene Akoto, an expert in globalization and sustainable development, says that 2012 is going to be good for renewable energy. “With the late announcement of deal at COP17, people send lot of projects for certification to earn carbon credit and brokers will be marching for projects that can win carbon credit in around the world,” he says. “I believe there will be investment in solar, hydro, and biofuel in Africa. Most African governments, such as Ghana, are passing into law renewable energy policies.

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