Key Challenges of Alternative Energy Sector


Published Date : Dec 29, 2015

The global alternative energy market is growing steadily. Certain sectors of the global alternative energy market such as wind and solar have shown strong growth in the past few years. On the other hand, other alternative energy markets such as wave and tidal and geothermal are still lagging behind. Though the future of the overall alternative energy market is bright due to the declining fossil fuel resources and the high demand for energy, there are certain challenges that the will restrain this market.

One of the key issues the global alternative energy market has faced is scalability. To establish economies of scale, the energy generated from a source needs to be scaled in a proper time frame, in the required volume, and at a reasonable cost. Over the years, the cost of solar energy has reduced significantly. However, it is still not on par with the price of the conventional energy generated using fossil fuels in many regions of the world. This commercialization issue of various alternative energy sources will suppress the global alternative energy market in the coming few years.

Return on Investment (ROI) is another challenging concern for the global alternative energy market. Energy density also continues to challenge the global alternative energy market. The amount of energy contained in a unit of an energy form is referred to as energy density. A majority of alternative energies and its storage technologies are presently low energy densities and their deployment generally results in higher levels of resource consumption.

Two other key issues the global alternative energy market is facing include intermittency and material input requirements. Material input requirements tend to limit scalability and affects the feasibility and pricing of an alternative energy. Energy sectors such as solar and wind tend to produce only intermittency based on how the wind blows or the sun shines. This will suppress the global alternative energy market.

Although the global alternative energy market is hampered by these key concerns, there are several factors that are supporting its growth. Favorable regulations and policies implemented by governments around the world will support the growth of the global alternative energy market. In addition to this, the rapid technological advancement in this industry will also provide good growth opportunities for this market.