Clean Tech Outlook 2011, Part 2: Professor Peter Adriaens Weighs in On Electric Vehicles, Biofuel, Wind and Carbon

Shannon Beeman
December 2, 2010

In our previous post,we shared the first half of Professor Peter Adriaens’ clean tech outlook for 2011. In this second half, we dive deeper into some of the specific sector-specific trends he is monitoring:

  • Greater Electric Vehicle Market Segmentation While today’s electric cars all share a similar, costly battery, the future will bring change to accommodate the way people use their vehicles. Specifically, there will soon be electric cars that are built to accommodate around-town driving and ones for commuting. By further segmenting the market in this way, the battery for around-town electric cars could be made smaller and drive down the cost for consumers.
  • New Applications for Biofuel Algae – Recently, Aurora Biofuels changed its name to Aurora. This put into reality a major admission in the biofuel algae market that the real, immediate market value is not in biofuel, but in the by-products from algae. These by-products can be used in higher value, less price sensitive products such as dietary supplements, cosmetics, and bioplastics.
  • Material Advancements in Wind Sector – Because the wind sector has maximized development of the size of turbine blades, it will now focus its attention on identifying and developing new materials for the leading edges of blades. These new materials will enable the blades to capture lower wind speeds or wind speeds over longer periods of time.
  • Decrease in Carbon Investment – As a result of the exchange of power in Congress during the recent midterm elections, many predict that the energy policy will not include cap and trade. As a result, investment in carbon will go down in 2011 and natural gas will be the go-to choice as the nation transitions between oil and alternative energy sources.

The University is a top-5 clean tech university, according to the CleanTech Group so check back often for more of the latest news and developments.