Renewables growing fast in 2014

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The Energy Information Agency predicts an annual growth rate of 9.8 percent for U.S. solar until 2040. BP's Energy Outlook to 2035 used a more conservative figure, but still identified renewable energy as the fastest-growing sector. Sustainable energy technologies are on the rise both as viable alternatives for energy production and as investments.

According to The Motley Fool, barriers to entry are rising in the solar energy sector. The complexity of solar manufacturing increases on a yearly basis, according to the publication, helped along by strong research and development spending in the industry. The Motley Fool writes, "Any profitable market with a healthy future needs substantial barriers to entry." Solar will soon have these barriers.

Furthermore, the publication reports, Deutsche Bank has estimated 75 percent of the world's solar energy will be competitive in cost by the beginning of 2015 even without the subsidies to which the industry is accustomed. The renewable energy technology market is already a profitable one, according to The Motley Fool, and now may be the time to invest for those who are interested in the sector from that angle.

Renewable installations to increase in 2014

The U.S. Energy Information Administration's energy outlook for 2014 maintains U.S. wind power generation capacity will increase 8.8 percent this year, and will grow another 15 percent in 2015. Solar power generation capacity on the utility scale should rise 40 percent between the end of 2013 and the end of 2015.

Furthermore, residential electricity consumption is expected to decline by an average of 1.1 percent per household, and by an additional 0.4 percent in 2015. Residential energy consumption is closely tied to the energy-efficiency of appliances and lighting in homes, which is on the rise. On the other hand, the U.S. industrial sector is expected to require 2.2 percent more energy this year, and 2.5 percent more on top of that in 2015. For this reason, as well as many others, utility-scale renewable energy technologies will be of great importance in 2014.

Companies that install, manufacture or otherwise provide renewable energy technologies should brace themselves for the coming year, as it would appear from the data that it will be a busy one. 

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