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NEWS: Will Emerging Markets Make Renewable Energy More Democratic?
June 4, 2009   by By Jennifer Kho, Contributor   California, United States []

Think of the renewable-energy market as an oligarchy, with a handful of countries making up by far a super majority. The top 10 wind countries, for example, represented a whopping 87.8 percent of the wind market last year, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). And in solar, even just the top two markets -- Spain and Germany -- accounted for 72.9 percent of the total world market, with the top 10 making up 96.5 percent, according to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association.

Over the years, the industry has been expanding to new countries, dividing the market among a larger number of countries every year. But in an economic downturn, with price declines amid an oversupply of solar panels and wind turbines, that trend could be accelerating. And as more countries pass a variety of climate-change legislation, industry insiders predict that — in the coming years — the clean-energy oligarchy will become ever more democratic.


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