Monday, September 30, 2013

U.S. International Trade Commission : U.S. and Global Markets for Renewable Energy Services Growing Rapidly, USITC Finds

U.S. AND GLOBAL MARKETS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY SERVICES GROWING RAPIDLY, USITC FINDS United States and Europe are Leading Importers and Exporters of Wind and Solar Services

Global demand for renewable energy services (consulting, engineering, construction, equipment maintenance and repair, etc.) has grown rapidly in the past five years as countries have worked to meet rising energy needs, reduce carbon output, and strengthen energy security, reports the U.S. International Trade Commission in its publication Renewable Energy and Related Services: Recent Developments.

Though few trade barriers apply specifically to the provision of renewable energy services, local content requirements applied to renewable energy equipment in many countries act as significant barriers to trade in related services, the agency found.

The USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, produced the report at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

In his request letter, the USTR noted that technological improvements and decreasing prices have led to rapid growth in demand for renewable energy services, particularly in the wind and solar power sectors, and that changes in government incentive programs have altered the future of the renewable energy market. The USTR asked the USITC to provide updated information "to assist us in better understanding recent developments in the renewable energy services sector."

As requested, the report provides estimates of the U.S. and global markets for, and discusses barriers to, trade and investment in services that are essential to the development, generation, and distribution of renewable energy. Highlights of the report follow.
  • Global renewable energy capacity more than doubled to 653 gigawatts between 2007 and 2012, while global investment stood at a record $244 billion in 2012, up 71 percent during that period. While data on renewable energy services are not available, capacity and investment growth indicate similar growth in related services.
  • The United States is consistently among the largest markets for renewable energy services, alongside Europe and Asia, particularly China.
  • The value of global solar photovoltaic services associated with installations was estimated to be $34 billion in 2011. The largest markets for such services were Italy ($9.8 billion), Germany ($5.1 billion), the United States ($3.1 billion), and Japan ($3.0 billion).
  • The global market for services related to installation of wind equipment was estimated at nearly $23 billion in 2011, with the largest markets including China, the United States, Germany, and Canada. The global market for wind operations and maintenance services in 2011 was estimated at $6.2 billion - $7.2 billion, with Europe believed to account for roughly half of that market.
  • The value of the global market for services associated with all hydropower installations in 2010 was nearly $71 billion, of which small hydropower accounted for an estimated $2.3 billion.
  • Geothermal installation services in the global market were estimated at $315 million in 2010, while the operations and maintenance of existing geothermal facilities required services expenditures estimated at $2.5 billion.
  • Trade barriers affecting renewable energy services primarily include general investment restrictions and measures that impede the free movement of service providers. While local content requirements do not typically target service providers, they often serve as de facto barriers to services provision as many wind and solar equipment manufacturers provide services in tandem with the sale of their goods.
Renewable Energy and Related Services: Recent Developments(Investigation No. 332-534, USITC Publication 4421, August 2013), will be available on the USITC's Internet site at A CD-ROM of the report may be requested by emailing, calling 202-205-2000, or contacting the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be faxed to 202-205-2104.

USITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs and trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the House Committee on Ways and Means, or the Senate Committee on Finance. The resulting reports convey the Commission's objective findings and independent analysis on the subject investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the USITC submits its findings and analyses to the requestor. General factfinding investigations reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requestor for national security reasons.

Syndicated from 4-Traders

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