From the Editor: Renewable Energy Becomes Big Business

Undeniably, renewable energy is big business. And while it has not always been so – as even those with short memories will testify – the scale of investment seen today betokens a story of great magnitude.

A glance at the market reveals ample evidence to support this assertion. Key figures from Green Growth, a report released recently by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), indicate that the wind energy sector contributed some €32 billion to the EU’s GDP in 2010, having grown by 33% since 2007. Over the same period wind power jobs reached nearly 240,000 – and this over a period in which overall EU unemployment rose by more than 5%. By 2020, there should be some 520,000 jobs in the sector, the trade group claims.

And it’s not just in Europe. According to American Wind Energy Association figures, in the past five years the sector has brought in as much as $20 billion annually in private investment to the US. Wind power also supplied 35% of all new power generating capacity – right behind natural gas – and employed some 75,000 people, including 30,000 in manufacturing.

Meanwhile, Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics Until 2016, a new report from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), finds 29.7 GW of new PV systems were connected to the grid in 2011, up from 16.8 GW in 2010. With approximately 70 GW in cumulative global installations, PV is now, after hydro and wind power, the third most important renewable energy source in terms of globally installed capacity, the group finds.

Though far from exhaustive, these few details amply demonstrate the scale of the renewables industry now and illustrate just how far it has come. Of course, achieving scale has been the goal of the industry since its earliest origins, bigger obviously being better when it comes to renewable energy and its and economics.

Inevitably, in the 15 years since its launch, Renewable Energy World has also seen some pretty dramatic changes as it has evolved and adapted to keep pace with our rapidly developing industry. Now, by combining our North American and International editions, all of our subscribers are able to benefit from all the very best the whole world of renewable energy has to offer. It means that both our International and North American subscribers get all of the in-depth coverage and strong anlaysis they have come to expect from us over the last decade and a half.

And its latest transformation will see the circulation rise yet again, this time to more than 50,000 copies independently audited and verified. That’s at least 50,000 copies across more than 170 countries worldwide and it means that, just like this industry, we’re bigger and better than ever – in fact Renewable Energy World magazine is now the most widely circulated renewable energy magazine in the world.

We’re obviously immensely proud to have achieved this. And as we are and always have been a reflection of our industry it is you, our readers, that have made this possible. You should be immensely proud too.

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