- Daily Zen
Modern civilization has exploited fossil fuels to a threatening extent. As the humankind developed, the downside of our irresponsible use became apparent. We started realizing the importance of clean energy sources to ensure the existence of the humankind. The world is at a critical synapse and the right decisions need to be taken. Industry Leaders in the clean energy sector are the ones leading the world in this transition.
China, India, and the US are the top three most polluting countries in the world with them accounting to nearly 50 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions. Perhaps surprisingly, these three countries are also the undisputed industry leaders leaving the clean and green energy revolution.
President Trump pulled out of the Paris agreement in 2017, but the same year clean energy’s share in the total production of electricity rose to 18 percent in the US. China is the front-runner in almost all aspects of clean energy – It has one-third of the world’s wind capacity and one-third of the world’s solar capacity.
The energy consumed by an average Indian for transport is the least in the world and 90 percent of India’s capacity growth is represented by solar and wind energy.
The use of clean energy has significantly increased owing to the urgency of climate change. Countries are collaborating and taking proactive steps in this direction. However, some countries, more than others, are leading the rest. China, India, and the US top the list of the countries leading the clean energy revolution.
In 2017, China invested $132.6bn into renewable energy. Its total renewable capacity is growing at a year-over-year rate of 15 percent. Ten years back, China accounted for less than half-percent of the world’s solar capacity and today the figure is one-third.
Not just in clean energy generation, China is deemed as an industry leader in the electric vehicle market as well. According to a report published on the World Economic Forum, as of 2018, 4.5 million EVs were sold in the world out of which half is used in China. Leaders in clean energy are following the footsteps of China in clean energy investments. Among the other polluting countries, China is the only country pro-actively cleaning up its business and moving away from conventional energy. In 2017, China accounted for almost 40 percent of the total global clean energy investment.
India is home to the world’s largest renewable auction market and the second largest destination for clean energy investments, according to the Climatescope report by BloombergnNEF. India has an ambitious plan of achieving 175GW of renewable capacity and currently, the country’s clean energy capacity accounts to 8 percent of total electricity generation, equivalent to 27 GW of total clean energy capacity. The Bloomberg report added that for the first time in 2017, clean energy installations surpassed coal-power installations in the country. India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu is an industry leader in wind energy with an installed-capacity of 7.9GW, more than Denmark and Sweden which are considered to be top players in wind energy generation and consumption.
By the beginning of 2018, around 18 percent of electricity production in the US came from renewable energy. 53 of the 500 fortune companies in the US and 300 US cities have committed to 100 percent dependence on clean energy. Nearly 90 percent of the increase in the country’s clean energy consumption comes from wind and solar energy. Solar generation has increased from 2 million mWh in 2008 to 96 million mWh in 2018 and wind generation has increased from 55 million mWh in 2008 to 275 million mWh in 2018. According to a Bloomberg report, clean energy investments in the US hit a record high of $64.2 billion in 2018.
The clean energy sector is replete with industry leaders whose focus on clean energy has translated into rapid clean energy production, commercialization, and industry expansion. The clean energy market was valued at $928.0 Billion in 2017, and is expected to reach $1,512.3 Billion by 2025, according to estimations by Allied Market Research.
As one of the industry leaders in clean energy, Canadian Solar is one of the world’s top three solar companies. The company has 4.6GW of solar projects globally and about 1GW of solar power plants around the world. Since its inception in 2001, the company has delivered more than 33 GW of solar modules to customers in over 150 countries. Canadian Solar also achieved the first place in Thomson Reuters list of top 12 in renewable energy.
Based in Arizona, USA, First Solar is an industry leader in manufacturing and distribution of PV power plants. In 2009, First Solar became the world’s first solar panel manufacturing company to bring the manufacturing cost to $1 per watt. The company is said to hold world records for thin film cell conversion efficiency (22.1%) and module conversion efficiency (18.6% aperture).
Vestas Wind Systems has an installed capacity of 102GW in 80 countries, the highest for any clean energy leader. A third of all wind turbines installed around the world are Vestas turbines. It is also the first company of the world to install wind turbines with the capacity of 100GW. Vestas is the industry leader in wind energy with a global market share of 22 percent as of 2018.
The clean energy industry is saddled with non-cooperation and the lack of a centralized effort. Public policies and government investments pertaining to the generation and use of clean energy go through a constant ebb and flow. In such a scenario, the cooperation between leaders in clean energy is crucial. The top clean energy companies depict how profitable and worthwhile the commercialization and widespread use of clean energy can be.