Renewable Energy Information
  on Markets, Policy, Investment, and Future Pathways
  by Eric Martinot

Renewable Energy Market Indicators and References

Note: this web page contains data and sources for 2003. It currently serves as a historical record and methodological note. More recent information is contained in the "Renewables 2005 Global Status Report" linked on the main page, along with its companion "Notes and References" document. Also see the "markets" section of the Selected References page.

This page presents market indicators and installed capacities for renewable energy worldwide and in developing countries. Tables 1 and 2 offer a complete picture for developing countries. Table 2 also offers renewable power generation totals for the world as a whole. Tables 3 and 4 show leading countries for installations of wind power and solar hot water. Figures 1 and 2 show the installed capacity base for wind power and solar photovoltaics worldwide. Figures 3 and 4 show investment in all renewable technologies worldwide, both as annual investment volume and as existing "replacement value." Figure 5 shows solar hot water capacity by country. Figure 6 shows annual production of biodiesel and ethanol fuels. Sources, notes, and assumptions explain the tables and figures, and cite references from the reference list. This version produced August 2004. Numbers subject to revision.

Also see the summary version "Indicators of investment and capacity for renewable energy," that appeared in Renewable Energy World (Sep-Oct 2004).

Renewable Energy Markets in Developing Countries, as of 2000  (Table 1)  view notes

Renewable Grid-based Electricity Generating Capacity, World and Developing Countries, as of 2003  (Table 2)   view notes

Wind Power Capacity by Country, as of 2003  (Table 3)   view notes

Solar Hot Water Installations by Country, as of 2003  (Table 4)   view notes

Wind Power Capacity, World Total, 1990-2003  (Figure 1)   view notes

Solar Photovoltaic Capacity, World Total, 1990-2003  (Figure 2)   view notes

Annual Investment in Renewable Energy, World Total, 1995-2003  (Figure 3)   view notes

"Replacement Value" of Existing Renewable Energy Capacity and Comparison with Value of Selected Energy Infrastructure, World Total, 2003  (Figure 4)   view notes

Existing Solar Hot Water Capacity, as of 2003  (Figure 5)   view notes

Fuel Ethanol and Biodiesel Production, World Total, 1990-2003  (Figure 6)

Other market indicators besides those used in the tables and figures, along with a discussion of methods and guidelines for assessing market development and a literature review, can be found in this paper (Eric Martinot, World Bank Environment Department Paper 66, 1998). Also see this paper (David Nichols et al, GEF Monitoring and Evaluation Working Paper 4, 2000).

This page copyright ?2003-2004 Eric Martinot, including all tables and figures. Permission is granted to use this material for educational, research, and nonprofit purposes, with appropriate citation, but reproduction in any publication is prohibited without the written permission of the copyright holder.



Data from many sources have been compiled for some estimates. Some sources present inconsistencies or use different base years. Approximations or best estimates made where necessary. Most sources present "installed capacity" as current "operating capacity", although retirements and decommissionings in some categories may not be fully reflected in totals (most renewable energy installations have not reached their useful lifetime, so retirements are considered a minor factor). All numbers presented in tables and figures are rounded to two significant digits unless otherwise indicated. Citations refer to references listed in next section.

Tables 1 and 2

Tables 1 and 2 present an overview of renewable energy applications and markets in developing countries. Tables reproduced from Martinot et al (2002), with updates to Table 2 described below. Figures compiled from a variety of sources cited in paper. Many data are only available on a country-by-country basis, so individual country totals were aggregated to produce global totals.

Table 2

Table 2 shows renewable power generating capacity, both world total and the share of the world total which exists in developing countries. Renewable energy represents about 4% of installed electric power capacity worldwide, and also about 4% of installed capacity in developing countries. Because capacity factors are generally much lower for renewable energy than for conventional power plants, the share of electricity production from renewable energy is lower than 4%. Most of the numbers in this table are growing at slow rates, from 0.5% to 3% per year (see notes for Figure 3). The exceptions are wind and solar, which are growing at annual rates of 20-30%. From Figure 1, total wind power capacity increased from roughly 18,000 MW in 2000 to 40,000 MW in 2003. Wind power in developing countries increased from 1700 MW in 2000 to 3100 MW in 2003. Total grid-connected solar photovoltaic capacity increased from 250 MW in 2000 to an estimated 1100 MW in 2003, representing a growing share of total worldwide photovoltaic capacity of 3100 MW (see notes for Figure 2).

Large and small hydro figures updated from Martinot et al (2002) using IEA (2003d), US EIA (2004), Bartle (2003), UNDP/GEF (2004), HRC (2004), Kumar (2003), WEC (2001b), and other data. There are some differences in China small hydro reported in different sources. UNDP/GEF (2004) gives 30 GW in 2003. HRC (2004) gives 26.3 GW in 2001, with 1.4 GW installed from 2000 to 2001 (24.8 GW in 2000). Kumar (2003) gives 24.6 GW in 2002. Martinot et al (2002) used 21 GW in 2000 based on similarly conflicting data, which was probably too low. Definitions of small hydro vary by country, usually up to 10 MW, although up to 25 MW in India and up to 30 MW in China (thus global totals can differ greatly depending on what is counted). Goldemberg and Johansson (2004), Table 7, give 690 GW large hydro globally and 25 GW small hydro globally as of 2001; their small hydro figure probably doesn't include some or all small hydropower in China, which is defined as up to 30 MW and tends to be left out of small hydro totals. In general, published hydropower figures are assumed to include both large and small hydro, except in China, where these are reported separately. Total hydro is the sum of small and large hydro shown in Table 2.

Biomass figures updated slightly from Martinot et al (2002), based on unpublished sources. Biomass power figures do not include municipal solid waste combustion or landfill gas.

Geothermal data updated from Martinot et al (2002) using EREC (2004), U.S. EIA “country profiles?for Mexico (January 2004) and Philippines (August 2003), IEA (2003b), IEA (2003e), and information from the International Geothermal Association (IGA) website.

Windpower figures updated based on Jones (2004), citing BTM Consult, and Windpower Monthly (2004).

Solar PV grid-connected figures based on Maycock (2004, 2003, 2002, and 2001).

Electric power capacity figures updated from Martinot et al (2002) using estimates based on UNDESA (2002), IEA (2003b), IEA (2003c), and US EIA (2004). Average OECD electric power capacity growth 1990-2001 is 2.0% (IEA 2003d). Non-OECD estimate at 3% average (Africa much lower, South America about this rate, and Asia much higher). IEA (2002) World Energy Outlook gives 3,397 GW total world electric power capacity in 1999. UNDESA (2002) gives 3,373 GW for 2000. The UNDESA figures are used as a starting point, along with 2001 OECD-only total of 2112 GW from IEA (2003d).

Investment in conventional electric power worldwide. For comparison, annual investment in conventional power is running perhaps $120-160 billion per year. Annual global power plant orders ran in the range of 70-80 GW/year in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but picked up to peak at 180 GW in 2001, before falling back down to 140 GW in 2002 (Siemens data cited in Figure 7.5 of IEA (2003c). Assuming an average capacity cost somewhere in the range of $800-1100/kW (gas turbines less, hydropower more), and taking annual orders in the range of 120-150 GW/year, this translates into roughly $100-170 billion/year investment in new generation capacity. “Investment in the electricity sector has followed cyclical patterns?said the IEA (2003c).

Note on IEA/OECD electric power data: electric power capacities (total, hydro, and renewables) are not given for developing countries by the IEA, except for the three developing countries in the OECD (Mexico, South Korea, and Turkey). These three countries must be backed out of all OECD data to achieve a proper split. Only UNDESA 2002 has electric power capacities for developing countries. Thus figures were extrapolated from a variety of sources, including UNDESA 2002, IEA 2003 Electricity Information, and IEA 2003 World Energy Investment Outlook.

Note on definition of "developing country": Developing country electric power totals in the 2000 version of Table 2 (from Martinot et al 2002) included economies in transition, as these countries were all eligible for World Bank development assistance. The 2003 version of Table 2 excludes all EU accession countries and other countries in transition.

Table 3

Table 3 shows the countries with wind power installations of 120 MW and above. Germany leads by a wide margin, with more than one-third of world capacity. Data from Jones (2004), citing BTM Consult, and Windpower Monthly (2004). Prior data from AWEA/EWEA (2003).

Table 4

Table 4 shows the major countries with solar hot water installations. China alone accounts for more than half of the global total of 94 million m2 in 2003. Figures exclude unglazed water collectors and all air collectors. Water collectors are used primarily for hot water, but a small fraction are starting to be used for space heating as well. In Germany, 20% of the installed systems are also used for space heating (Weiss 2004). Data based on Weiss et al (2004), Weiss (2004), ESTIF (2004), Li (2002), EREC (2004), plus other data from Martinot et al (2002). Some estimations and extrapolations of 2002-2003 growth in minor markets are necessary from the information contained in these soures. China, EU, and Turkey are major markets with available data). The total of 94 million m2 probably reflects at least 30 million households worldwide with solar hot water. Typical system sizes are 1.5-5.0 m2, with the lower end in countries like China and the higher end, even exceeding 5.0 m2 by a wide margin, in countries like the United States (Martinot et al 2002 used 1.5 m2 as an average for installations in developing countries, mostly China). Global solar hot water total of 94 million m2 is based on a compilation of several different sources and is up from 22 million m2 in 1994 reported by Turkenberg et al (2000) and Morrison and Wood (2000). Li (2002) reports 26 million m2 in China in 2000, including annual sales of 6 million m2, up 27% from 1999 (which would make 1999 sales 4.8 million m2). Li (2000) also reports growth of annual Chinese sales was 41% in 1999 (which would make 1998 sales 3.4 million m2). Morrison and Wood (2000) give Japan at 7 million m2, U.S. 4 million m2, and Israel 2.8 million m2 for 1994.

Figure 1

Figure 1 shows existing wind power capacity (with annual additions reflected in the difference between succeeding years). The 8100 MW added globally in 2003 reflects a worldwide growth rate of 26% for wind power in 2003, following a 28% growth rate in 2002. The growth rate for developing countries in 2003 was about 18%, reflecting almost 400 MW installed in 2003 (primarily in India and China). Of the 39,400 MW existing by the end of 2003, the developing country total was about 2,700 MW. Data from BTM Consult (2003), Windpower Monthly (2004), Worldwatch (2002), Renewable Energy Report (2002a), EWEA (2002), EWEA/Greenpeace (2002), and AWEA/EWEA (2003). Figures vary among sources, partly because some sources count annual wind turbine production and some only include turbines actually installed in a given year. For example, EWEA/Greenpeace (2002) give higher numbers for 2000 and 2001 than those in Figure 1 (18.4 GW in 2000 and 24.9 GW in 2001), but these appear to be based on produced rather than installed turbines. Figures produced by the same organizations but at different times also appear contradictory.

Figure 2

Figure 2 shows global total solar photovoltaic capacity for all applications (with annual additions reflected in the difference between succeeding years). In contrast to data sets for other technologies, data for solar photovoltaics reflect PV cell production by year, not necessarily installations. The starting base of 260 MW in 1990 reflects an estimate of cumulative production to that point, minus estimated retirements. There is some uncertainty about this base and thus the cumulative number over the whole chart. Therefore, absolute capacities should only be taken to two significant figures (i.e., 2400 MW in 2002). Changes from year-to-year are more accurate and given to three significant figures. The major growth in the market from 1996-2001 was for grid-connected residential and commercial installations, increasing from annual volume of 7 MWp/yr in 1996 to 200 MWp/yr in 2001 (Maycock 2002). Other market segments (consumer products, off-grid residential, communications, and commercial PV-diesel) approximately doubled or tripled in annual volume during this period. Annual data from Worldwatch (2002), Maycock (2001 and 2002), and Photon International (2003). RER (2001) reported cumulative capacity of "1.4 GW" by 2000, which fits with Figure 2.

Figure 3

Figure 3 shows that annual investment in renewable energy was about $24 billion worldwide in 2003, up from $6 billion in 1995 (all figures are in 2003 dollars). Cumulative investment of $124 billion was made in renewable energy during the period 1995-2003. Technology investment shares for the $24 billion total in 2003 are wind (34%), solar hot water (28%), solar photovoltaics (22%), small hydro power generation (9%), biomass power generation (4%), and geothermal power and heat (3%). Total investment for each technology equals installed capacity in a given year times an assumed unit cost for that year. All costs expressed in 2003 dollars. Unit cost reduction from 1995 to 2002 assumed to be linear. Wind and solar photovoltaic capacity additions are available for individual years. Capacity additions for some technologies must be estimated from specific year-datapoints and/or assumed annual growth rates. Total cost represents turnkey costs (including balance of plant).

Note: A previous version of Figure 3 gave $17 billion investment for 2002 and was then partially updated in May 2004 to show $20 billion for 2003 on the basis of wind and PV investment and other data for 2003. New data available since May 2004, particularly for the booming solar hot water market in China ($5 billion alone of investment in 2003), as well as for solar hot water around the world and continuing fast growth of small hydro in China from 2001-2003, have increased global investment figures as well.

Three comparisons can put the $24 billion/year in perspective: (1) a 3% growth rate in conventional power generation would represent about $100 billion in annual investment in conventional power; (2) annual investment in new automotive engines worldwide also represents about $100 billion (estimated 40-50 million vehicle engines produced per year at $2500 each); and (3) worldwide annual fuel expenditures for purchasing fossil fuels exceed $1 trillion per year (Goldemberg et al 2002, basically calculating 400 EJ/year times a weighted average fossil fuel cost of $2.50/GJ).

Technologies included in Figure 3 are wind power, solar photovoltaics, solar hot water, biomass power generation, small hydro power generation, geothermal power generation, and geothermal heat production. Large hydro power is not included in the defintion of "renewable energy" for the purposes of Figure 3, but is shown in Figure 4. Biogas digesters and ethanol production plants are excluded because they do not add significantly to the total during the 1995-2003 period (although ethanol production has been expanding in recent years in the United States), but are included in Figure 4. Traditional biomass fuelwood stoves and other forms of infrastructure for biofuels are excluded from both Figures 3 and 4.

Extensive data on electric power capacity costs can be found in Table 7.3 of IEA (2003c). Based on this source, previous cost assumptions used on this page were revised slightly. This table gives $400-600/kW for gas combined cycle, $800-1300/kW for conventional coal, $1700-2150/kW for nuclear, $400-500/kW for diesel engines, $900-1100/kW for onshore wind, $1500-1600/kW for offshore wind, $1500-2500/kW for biopower, $1800-2600/kW for geothermal, and $1900-2600/kW for hydro.

Details by technology follow:

Wind power. Installed capacities from Figure 1. Assume $1000/kW for 2003, $1050/kW for 2002 and $1400/kW for 1995. EU CORDIS (2002) gives on-land turkey investment costs for wind of $770-1000/kW. Turkenberg et al (2000) Table 7.25 gives $1100-1700/kW. AWEA/EWEA (2003) give total wind power investment in 2002 as $7.3 billion (for 6900 MW), or an average of $1050/kW. Cost continue to significantly decline each year. "Over the past five years alone, costs have reduced by some 20%" (EWEA/Greenpeace, 2002, p. 12). Both EU CORDIS (2002) and Turkenberg et al (2000) give typical capacity factors as 20-30%.

Solar photovoltaics. Installed capacities from Figure 2. Assume $7/Wp for 2002-2003 total installed system cost, as an average across all applications. Assume $9/Wp for 1995. Turkenberg et al (2000) give $5-10/Wp. EU CORDIS (2002) notes stand-alone system cost for PV "less than" $8/Wp, grid-connected system cost (1-3kW) of $4-5/Wp, and $4.30-$6.50 for "typical turn-key costs." These figures appear low relative to current practice, as discussed in IEA (2002b). Maycock (2002) notes PV module prices for single- and polycrystalline silicon have remained in the range $3.50-$4.15/Wp from 1995-2001 (starting at $3.75 in 1995 and ending at $3.50 in 2001). The increasing market penetration of amorphous silicon modules (up to 9% of global market in 2001), with their lower costs ($2-3/Wp), puts downward pressure on average unit cost.

Solar hot water. Solar thermal annual installations and total installed capacity extrapolated year-by-year from Li (2002), Weiss (2002), Morrison and Wood (2000), Turkenberg et al (2000), Renewable Energy Report (2002b and 2002c), and EU CORDIS (2002). Assume $400/m2 average cost for China and $900/m2 for developed countries. Li (2002) gives costs in China as $300/m2 for flat-plate and $450-550 for vacuum tube collectors, with two-thirds of the market in 2001 being for vacuum tube. EREC (2004, p.137) gives $400/m2 for simpler, southern-Europe systems to $1100/m2 for northern countries. According to Gerhard Stryl-Hipp (in Weiss 2004), small-scale systems for domestic water heating in Germany, which are around 5 m2 in size, cost approximately 4000 euros ($4800). Thus the cost is roughly $900-1000/m2. Germany installed 720,000 m2 in 2003, representing 80,000 systems (typical 5-6 m2 for hot water, 8-15 m2 for hot water plus space heating (20% of systems). Cost of the 2003 installations was 600 million euros, or $720 million ($1000/m2). Extensive data on solar hot water markets is now available from Weiss et al (2004) and Weiss (2004). For earlier versions of Figure 3, historical data was obtained as follows: EU CORDIS (2002) gives total EU collector area of 9.8 million m2. Li (2002) reports 26 million m2 in China in 2000, including annual sales of 6 million m2, up 27% from 1999 (which would make 1999 sales 4.8 million m2). Growth of annual sales was 41% in 1999 (which would make 1998 sales 3.4 million m2). Morrison and Wood (2000) give Japan at 7 million m2, U.S. 4 million m2, and Israel 2.8 million m2 for 1994. Renewable Energy Report (2002b) gives 6 million m2 in China for 2001 and expected 8 million m2 for 2002, "equivalent to two-thirds of the world market for solar collectors."

Biomass power generation. Assume capacity growth of 0.5%/year from 1995-2003, with 32,000 MW capacity in 2000 (from Table 2). (Capacity does not include waste-to-energy, which is commonly included in biomass power generation figures by others). Assume capacity cost of $2000/kW for both 1995 and 2002. Observ'ER-EdF (2000) give an average annual growth rate of 0.2% for biomass power generation between 1993 and 1998, although there is a drop in CIS production from 1993 to 1995 which would increase the growth rate starting in 1995. IEA (2002a) gives a 1% average annual growth in biomass power generation for OECD countries from 1990-2000, although the 2000 figure is just about equal to the 1995 figure. Turkenberg et al (2000) give turnkey investment costs of $900-3000/kW for biomass power generation. Kartha and Larson (2000) give $2000/kW for a 21 MWe steam-Rankine biomass plant. Most biomass power generation occurs in conventional steam-Rankine plants, although "the costs vary widely depending on the type of turbine, type of boiler, the pressure and temperature of the steam, and other factors" (Kartha and Larson 2000, p. 104). EU CORDIS (2002) has not yet provided biomass power capacity costs.

Small hydro power generation. Actual data on Chinese small hydro from HRC (2004). Assume capacity growth non-Chinese small hydro of 1.3%/year. Assume $1300/kW (assume most capacity is in the form of larger plants, in the range 1-10 MW, and most new plants require dams to be built). Turkenberg et al (2000) give small hydro power capacity costs of $1200-3000/kW. EU CORDIS (2002) gives turn-key investment cost of $600-2000/kW for 1-10 MW range, $1300-4500/kW for 500-1000 kW range, and $1500-6000/kW for 100-500 kW range. Observ'ER-EdF (2000) give an average annual growth rate of 2% for hydropower generation between 1993 and 1998. IEA (2002a) gives a 1.2% average annual growth in hydropower capacity for OECD countries from 1990-2000. No growth statistics for small hydropower alone were found.

Geothermal power generation. Assume capacity growth of 2-3%/year from 1995-2003, with 8500 MW capacity in 2000 (from Table 2). Assume $2200/kW. Observ'ER-EdF (2000) give an average annual growth rate of 1.2% for geothermal power generation between 1993 and 1998. IEA (2002a) gives a 2.4% average annual growth in geothermal power capacity for OECD countries from 1990-2000. Lund (2000) shows a geothermal capacity growth rate of 3.3% from 1995 to 2000. Geothermal additions have accelerated in recent years, with marked increases in Austria in particular. Turkenberg et al (2000) give geothermal power capacity costs of $800-2000/kW. EU CORDIS (2002) gives turn-key investment cost for electricity production of $900-1500/kW. Investment cost varies greatly depending on site-specific drilling and exploration costs.

Geothermal heat production. Include figures for direct use only, not heat pumps. Lund (2000) reports geothermal direct heat utilization went from 8700 MWh(th) installed in 1995 to 17,200 MWh(th) installed in 2000. (However, Lund says the figures are unreliable and probably understated, as they depend on voluntary country reports.) But these include heat pumps. Assume 4% annual growth. Assume $800/kW(th). EU CORDIS (2002) gives turn-key geothermal heat production investment cost of $200-1400/kW(th) for liquid-steam water resources, $500-1000/kW(th) for ground-water heat pumps, $1000-1500/kW(th) for ground-source heat pumps.

Figure 4

Figure 4 shows the "replacement value" of existing renewable energy infrastructure and provides comparisons with the value of existing convenitonal power generation capacity and automobile engine capacity. Replacement value is defined as total installed capacity times an average unit cost, which is assumed to be the current average cost of replacing that capacity with equivalent equipment (same functionality and performance). Using such "replacement value" simplifies infrastructure value comparisons, as otherwise the actual historical costs of existing infrastructure would be needed, an impossible task. For an interesting comparison, "power plants" embedded in the automotive vehicle stock are also included. Note that capital cost comparisons do not imply relative electricity costs, as they do not account for fuel costs, operating and maintenance costs, capacity factors, interest rates, equipment lifetimes, and decommissioning costs. Figure 4 is based upon the following assumptions:

Fossil fuel steam plants: 2200 GW at $  900/kW
Large hydro power plants: 700 GW at $1500/kW
Nuclear power plants: 350 GW at $2000/kW
Combined-cycle gas turbines: 300 GW at $  500/kW
Diesel generators: 200 GW at $  400/kW
Small hydro plants: 56 GW at $1300/kW
Biomass power plants: 35 GW at $2000/kW
Wind power plants: 40 GW at $1000/kW
Geothermal power plants: 8800 MW at $2200/kW
Solar photovoltaic capacity: 3100 MW at $7000/kW
Solar thermal power plants: 350 MW at $3500/kW
Microturbines: 150 MW at $1500/kW
Fuel cells: 100 MW at $4000/kW
Internal combustion engines: 1 billion at $2500/engine
Natural-gas vehicle engines: 3 million at $3500/engine
Hybrid vehicle engines: 0.14 million at $7000/engine

Details by technology follow:

Renewables. Use values for 2003 capacity and cost from Figure 3. For solar hot water, see also notes for Table 4. For total renewables, add a few "other" categories for biogas, solar thermal power, and ethanol: (a) 10 million household-scale biogas digesters (from Table 1) at $200 per digester, or $2 billion; (b) 350 MW of solar thermal power at $3500/kW, or $1 billion; (c) 14 billion liters per year for ethanol production in developing countries from Table 1, plus an estimated 8 billion liters per year for developed country production, brings total ethanol production capacity to roughly 60 million liters per day, or roughly $7 billion capital value in 2002 dollars (Kartha and Larson (2000) give $77.5 (1989$) per liter/day of ethanol distillery capital cost). The values of other types of infrastructure associated with ethanol and other biofuels could potentially be added, but have not been considered.

Fossil fuel plants. Installed capacity taken from Table 2, less other generating sources, based on data from IEA (1998-2002). Coal plant costs vary considerably depending on local environmental regulations and required pollutant abatement equipment (such as FGD, flue-gas desulfurization). Coal plants in developed countries are typically $900-1200/kW (Williams et al 2000 cite a typical $1090/kW cost, with FGD). Many existing plants around the world, particularly in developing countries like China, do not usually have the same pollution controls that are found in developed countries, and can be lower in cost by up to $300/kW. Thus a global average cost of $900/kW is taken that is slightly less than costs found in developed countries. IEA (2002a) expects new investment in electric generating capacity worldwide during the period 2000-3000 to cost an average of $870, about 40% of it gas-fired.

Large hydropower plants. Installed capacity taken from Table 2, based on data from IEA (1999-2002). Turkenberg et al (2000) give $1000-3500/kW as turnkey investment costs. Assume most existing dams are part of turnkey investment costs.

Nuclear. Williams et al (2000) gives 349 GW installed worldwide in 1998, citing the International Atomic Energy Agency. WEC (2001a) gives 351 GW for 2000, with 3 GW added in 2000. Williams et al (2000) cites a 1998 survey for 18 countries, which found installed capital costs for new nuclear plants ranging from $1700-3100/kW. Industry optimists expect costs lower than this range if any future nuclear plants are built, while historical costs have been at the higher end of the range.

Combined-cycle gas turbines. Peaking and stand-by gas turbines are meant to be excluded from this category. Diesel and Gas Turbine Worldwide (2002) reported worldwide gas turbine sales of 70 GW in 2001-02, 120 GW in 2000-01, 75 GW in 1999-2000, 60 GW in 1998-99, and steady sales of 25-30 GW per year during the 1990s, for a cumulative total since 1990 of perhaps 600 GW. It appears from that source that at least 20% of capacity goes to peaking and stand-by units. It is not clear what fraction are used for combined-cycle as compared to simple-cycle use. IEA (2000; Figure 2.6), citing a 1999 report by U. Claeson based on a detailed review of projects found in professional journals, shows about 150 GW cumulative CCGT installed by 1997. Total CCGT of 300 GW by 2001 is probably a bit too low, but no other corroborating figures could be found. Gas turbines continue to get bigger and cheaper. "In competitive power markets, installed costs of natural-gas combined-cycle [plants] have fallen to less than $500 per kilowatt-electric" wrote Williams et al (2000, p. 280); they also give the costs of large 400-500 MW units just now becoming commercial in the range of $450-470/kW.

Diesel-generator sets. Wong et al (2001) give $350-500/kW installed costs for diesel-generator sets, and state that stationary reciprocating engines represent 146 GW capacity worldwide (most of these are diesel generators). Singh (2001) gives 102 GW of diesel-generator capacity in the U.S. alone.

Microturbines and fuel cells. Borbely and Kreider (2001) give capital costs for microturbines as $450-1000/kW, and for fuel cells as $3750-5000/kW. Dunn (2000) gives microturbine costs as $600-1100/kW. But in late 1990s, costs were cited in the $1500-$3000 range, so these current much-lower estimates may be optimistic. Commercial phosphoric-acid fuel cells are coming in as low as $3000/kW, but many fuel cells still under development are in the range $5000-10,000/kW. Microturbine cost depends on unit size and whether equipment for useful heat generation is also included. Capacity data for these distributed sources are rough order-of-magnitude. Cropper and Jollie (2002) give 600 stationary fuel cell systems greater than 10 kW cumulatively produced, plus another 1000 fuel cell systems less than 10 kW. They do not give cumulative capacities, but assuming most large systems are 200-kW phosphoric acid type and an average for small systems of 5kW, yields 125 MW. Other lists of fuel cell projects seem to confirm this. For microturbines, Capstone, the largest manufacturer, claimed 1700 systems installed by late 2001, which would represent 80-170 MW assuming an average of 50-100kW per system (CEC 2003).

Vehicles. USDOT (1999) shows 400 million personal vehicles in G-7 countries in 1996, representing half of the world economy. IANGV (2002) gives other countries for 1994. Number of passenger vehicles worldwide today estimated at 900-1000 million. Natural gas vehicle stock from IANGV (2003). Toyota has sold over 120,000 hybrids since 1997, and Honda is approaching 20,000 sold with its Impact and Civic (Friedman 2003). Costs of hybrid vehicles are closely-guarded commercial secrets at the present time, but assuming an increased cost of $5000 (incremental sticker prices are running slightly less), which goes primarily to the engine/battery system, an addition of $4500 relative to a conventional gasoline engine cost of $2500 seems reasonable. Light duty natural gas vehicles are $1000 to $6000 over the price of a traditional vehicle (IANGV 2003).

Figure 5

Figures exclude unglazed water collectors and all air collectors. Water collectors are used primarily for hot water, but a small fraction are starting to be used for space heating as well. In Germany, 20% of the installed systems are also used for space heating (Weiss 2004). Data based on Weiss et al (2004), Weiss (2004), ESTIF (2004), Li (2002), EREC (2004), plus other data from Martinot et al (2002). By 2001 there were about 28 million m2 of unglazed collectors, mainly to heat swimming pools (Weiss 2004). More than 80% of those 28 million m2 of unglazed collectors were in the United States, with the rest primarily in Europe. Indeed, the U.S. solar thermal market is 98% unglazed collectors for swimming pools, according to Weiss. Other published figures for solar thermal markets, including for the U.S., may include unglazed collectors and thus would appear quite different from Figure 5.


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Balce, Guillermo R., Tjarinto S. Tjaroko, and Christopher G. Zamora. 2003. Overview of biomass for power generation in Southeast Asia.?ASEAN Center for Energy, Jakarta.

Bartle, A. 2003. Hydro and dams gain more universal support. Hydropower and Dams 2003.

Borbely, Ann-Marie, and Jan. F. Kreider. 2001. "Distributed Generation: An Overview," in Distributed Generation: The Power Paradigm for the New Millennium, eds. Ann-Marie Borbely and Jan F. Kreider. New York: CRC Press.

British Petroleum. 2004. Statistical Review of World Energy 2004. London.

BTM Consult. 2003. "International Wind Energy Development, World Market Update 2002." Ringkobing, Denmark.

California Energy Commission. 2003. "Distributed energy resources." Web page viewed Jan. 26, 2003.

Cropper, Mark, and David Jollie. 2002. "Fuel Cell Systems: A Survey of Worldwide Activity" (dated November 14). Fuel Cell Today.

Diesel and Gas Turbine Worldwide. 2002. 2002 power generation order survey.

Dunn, Seth. 2000. Micropower: The Next Electrical Era. Worldwatch Paper 151 (Wasington, DC: Worldwatch Institute).

European Commission (EC), Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS). 2002. "Energy Technology Indicators." Updated periodically. Cost data from Section 1.9 on geothermal energy (12/20/02), Section 1.10 on photovoltaics (12/23/02), Section 1.11 on small hydropower (12/20/02), Section 1.12 on solar heating and cooling (12/20/02), Section 1.15 on wind energy (12/23/02) and Section 1.3 on CHP microturbines (12/18/02).

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Page updated October 21, 2005
Photo credits C. Babcock, W. Gretz and DOE/NREL Photo Information Exchange