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Consultant predicts alternative-energy boom

Wind turbines generate power atop a mesa near Sterling City, Texas on April 2. Consultant Mark Wiley said he expects the market for renewable energy — including wind power — to continue to grow by about 3 percent annually. “The largest growth segment in the renewable-energy market is wind,” Wiley said. “And Texas is leading the nation in the number of wind turbines.”   AP Photo by LM Otero

Wind turbines generate power atop a mesa near Sterling City, Texas on April 2. Consultant Mark Wiley said he expects the market for renewable energy — including wind power — to continue to grow by about 3 percent annually. “The largest growth segment in the renewable-energy market is wind,” Wiley said. “And Texas is leading the nation in the number of wind turbines.” AP Photo by LM Otero

M. Scott Carter
Dolan Media Newswires

Oklahoma City — The market for alternative energy will grow so much over the next two decades that it may generate more than 37 million new jobs and could produce $4.2 trillion in new revenue, an energy consultant said.

Speaking this week at the International Energy Policy Conference on the campus of Oklahoma Christian University, Mark Wiley, a mining consultant, said the energy sector would continue to be the major force of the world’s economy.

“Energy is the largest single sector of the gross domestic product in the world,” Wiley said. “It generates $7 trillion of the world’s $55 trillion GDP.”

And that sector will continue to grow, he said.

Citing projections from the U.S. Department of Energy, Wiley said the world currently uses about 508 quadrillion British Thermal Units of energy. By 2030, Wiley said that usage is expected to jump to 800 quadrillion BTUs.

“That’s a 44-percent rate of growth,” he said. “And it will probably be driven mostly by two countries, China and India. Right now, globally, we’re using about 1,000 barrels of petroleum a second.”

He said petroleum accounts for about 37 percent of the world’s energy, while natural gas usage takes up about 24 percent. Twenty-three percent of the world’s energy is generated by coal. And about 7 percent of the world’s energy is created using renewable energy sources.

“Renewable-energy investment has increased by about 45 percent annually,” he said. “That’s doubling about every two years and it’s going to generate great opportunities for jobs in the future.”

Because of that growth, Wiley said the market for renewable energy will continue to grow by about 3 percent annually.

“The largest growth segment in the renewable-energy market is wind,” he said. “And Texas is leading the nation in the number of wind turbines.”

Yet wind isn’t the only renewable energy source Wiley expects to see grow. Other sources include biomass, solar and even nuclear energy.

“As demand grows, we are going to need energy from every source,” he said. “The future opportunity to substitute everything we do with petroleum with biomass has got to be a huge market.”

Still, while technology is helping to create new types and uses of alternative energy, Wiley said some forms — such as nuclear power — are less used.

“Nuclear isn’t very popular,” he said. “People are afraid of it. We’ve had Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. It’s still going to be part of the mix, but the fastest growth will be in renewable energy.”

2 comments

  1. Put all the money into nuclear electricity generation. Wind and solar are costly and inefficient. Wind has many negative health affects on the people living in wind projects. Nuclear may be costly but mostly due to our goverment. It is clean, safe and efficient. The only reason it is unpopular is biased media reports. It is 99% efficient. If we truely want to cut emitions and have cost effective reliable electricty the push needs to be nuclear. There should be NO debate.

  2. First sentence: 2 key words…”may” and “could”
    Sort of like ‘Hope and Change’ which isn’t exactly going as planned either.
    It just as easily, ‘may’ generate 37million jobs lost, as a result of Cap and Trade laws and regulations attached to it, and ‘could’ cost 4.4 billion in taxes and subsidies. That scenario is probably closer to the truth than their dream, clouded by dillusions of green-jure.
    I don’t see either one panning out, and I certainly don’t believe their numbers. I’m all for persuing better forms of energy…just stop feeding such ridiculous, unrealistic numbers to try to sell this crapola. A little common sense, honesty, and reality would be quite refreshing.

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