Alternatives to emissions cap-and-trade frameworks have emerged in the form of sub-national mandates and incentives for clean energy.
Datamonitor expects progress on new global and US climate regimes will be slow and unconvincing this year, but that the race to dominate the emerging clean economy will accelerate regardless, fuelled by unprecedented quantities of green and clean stimulus funding.
Utilities will continue to combine strong balance sheets, technical knowhow and access to credit to leverage the current strong regulatory landscape. Non-utilities will see cleantech projects as an attractive investment from both a commercial and environmental credibility perspective.
Alex Desbarres, Senior Renewables Analyst at Datamonitor, says: “Copenhagen did not deliver the low-carbon vision, clear policy landscape and regulatory frameworks that the energy cleantech investment community had hoped for.
“For all its flaws, however, the Copenhagen accord gave the cleantech community the sense that private investors will drive the transition to a low-carbon economy.”
Cleantech market leaders no longer concern themselves with trading their way out of the carbon crisis. Instead, they are driven by the prospects of bringing innovation to market, attracting inward investment and positioning themselves as hubs of cleantech growth, Datamonitor says.
As the most commercially and technically mature form of cleantech, wind power will continue to attract the highest levels of investment, having been singled out by many governments and championed as part of several wider fiscal stimulus packages, the analyst predicts.
Desbarres adds: “Energy cleantech is central to the mitigation and adaptation strategies needed to address climate change. As a result, the business community is becoming increasingly involved with issues relating to clean technology, carbon markets, energy efficiency, demand-side management, and voluntary emission reduction commitments.
“Investors and national and sub-national policies will become increasingly crucial in efforts to tackle climate change, particularly as COP16 in Mexico is expected to deliver yet more stalemate.”