Monday 4 January 2010

Market Directions: 2010

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After a "messy" 2009, the new year may see a steadily growing role for utilities as developers and a continued reliance on federal dollars.

Renewable energy consultant Nadav Enbar may have offered the understatement of the year when he described 2009 as “pretty messy.”

Messy, indeed. Projects were scaled back, postponed or cancelled altogether; sources of finance dried up almost overnight; demand for electricity fell; and natural gas prices remained remarkably low through much of the year playing havoc with project development economic forecasts.

“Development was slow going, particularly for large projects that required upfront capital,” said Enbar, Boulder, Colo.-based research manager for IDC Energy Insight.

Despite the mess — or perhaps because of it — two trends emerged that seem likely to drive renewable energy markets well into 2010.

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