Which region will lead the world in smart energy?
That's according to a new report from Pike Research that says from 2012-2015 North America will add more than 400,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity, the most of any region in the world.
But smart energy is more than just traditional renewable energy sources like wind and solar. It also means technologies like fuel cells or energy storage for the grid. As Pike puts it, smart energy is “the range of efficient technological options available to provide electricity in a distributed fashion, either for local use or for grid support." (A list of the 15 smart energy subsectors the report focuses on can be found here.)
“Although North America today is heavily reliant on the biofuel and biopower sectors for revenue and new installations in the smart energy sector, there are a number of exciting underlying growth areas that could create a more sustainable, high value, high growth smart energy sector in North America,” says Pike's research director Kerry-Ann Adamson.
While North America will have the most renewable energy capacity additions, Europe will bring in the most revenue from smart energy: $500 billion by 2015. But after 2015, there could be a new leader in smart energy capacity additions. Currently, Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing region in the world for new smart energy capacity.
Photo: Flickr/David Reeves