A bigger issue is that market size is determined by the amount of subsidy. At least one half of the clean energy investment shown is from subsidies. That is a minimum of $125B in 2013. Given that to make a significant impact on energy, we need to provide ten to one hundred times current yearly wind and solar alternative energy capacity additions, the implication is very large government subsidies of $1.25T/y to $12.5T/y.
However, overall world subsidies seem set to decline further in 2014 and beyond, not grow. Europe has scaled back its clean energy agenda and the US with cheap gas is likely to reduce subsidies even more. Growth in China and India is slowing. Wind and solar power generation costs may reduce, but transmission, storage and other infrastructure costs will easily make up for this.
None of this bodes well for reducing CO2 for the foreseeable future. The only rational strategy is to get an energy source that does not need subsidies to be a profitable investment. Wind and Solar cannot do this. As the numbers show, wind and solar are very large business and can survive and profit within the reduced subsidy domain. They can live happily and profitably off of current subsidies while blocking any potential competitors from any serious attention. While clean energy advocates continue to believe that wind and solar are the only answer, and consider any position that questions this as heresy, no progress can be made.
By Edmund Kelly