ONLINE EXTRA: Market Forecasts

Solar, Wind and Biofuels Markets Reach $188.1 Billion
The overall trend for the clean-energy market continued to be one of growth and expansion in 2010. Combined global revenue for solar photovoltaics (PV), wind power and biofuels surged 35.2% over the prior year, from $139.1 billion to $188.1 billion, according to the Clean Energy Trends 2011 report issued by Clean Edge Inc., a research and advisory firm.

The bulk of this expansion came from a more than doubling in global solar PV installations and steady growth in the biofuels sector. For the first time since Clean Edge began tracking the wind power sector, however, the global wind market witnessed a slight year-over-year decline in market size, in both overall dollars and installations.

According to the report, the global market for solar PV has expanded from $2.5 billion in 2000 to $71.2 billion in 2010, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.8%. The global market for wind power has similarly expanded from a global market worth $4.5 billion in 2000 to more than $60.5 billion today, for a CAGR of 29.7%.

“As witnessed over the past decade, clean tech has proven to be a significant business opportunity, and its growth rates now rival that of earlier technology revolutions like telephony, computers, and the Internet,” said Ron Pernick, Clean Edge co-founder and managing director. “We expect overall growth to slow down in some sectors as the clean-energy market reaches wide adoption and utility-scale deployment, but there’s still considerable room for expansion.”

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Homes in 2015 to be Smaller, Greener, More Casual--NAHB Study
A recent study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that while consumer hesitations on home buying is waning, the recent housing downturn has changed what Americans are looking for in their next home.

The survey research on consumer preferences, which is presented annually at the NAHB International Builders’ Show, suggests that the severity of the recession has left an indelible mark on prospective home buyers, who have shifted their perspective on the housing they want and need.

Builders surveyed expect homes to average 2152 square feet in 2015, 10% smaller than the average size of single-family homes started in the first three quarters of 2010. To save on square footage, the living room is high on the endangered list–52% of builders expect it to be merged with other spaces in the home by 2015 and 30% said it will vanish entirely.

“As an overall share of total floor space, 54% of builders said the family room is likely to increase,” said Rose Quint, assistant vice president for survey research, NAHB. “That makes it the only area of the home likely to get bigger.”

In addition, the relative size of the entry foyer and dining room are likely to be diminished by 2015. However, opinions were fairly evenly divided on the fate of the kitchen, master bedroom, and bath and mudroom, she said.

The average new home of 2015 is likely to feature a great room comprised of the kitchen, foyer and living room; a walk-in closet in the master bedroom; a laundry room; ceiling fans; a master bedroom on the first floor in homes with two stories; and a two-car garage.

In addition to floor plan changes, 68% of builders surveyed say that homes in 2015 will also include more green features and technology, including low-E windows; engineered wood beams, joists or tresses; water-efficient features such as dual-flush toilets or low-flow faucets; and an Energy Star rating for the whole house.

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Aerospace and Defense Revenues to Reach $399 Billion by 2015
The global aerospace and defense industry is expected to reach $399 billion by the year 2015, according to a new report by Global Industry Analysts Inc. Key factors figured to drive industry growth include expansion in commercial airline operations, post-recession improvement in international air traffic, and continued steady injection of funds into the military/defense sector.

According to the report, the U.S. continues to remain the largest regional market worldwide. The Asia Pacific region is the fastest growing, displaying a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 3.0% over the analysis period. Growth in this region will be primarily driven by burgeoning demand for commercial aircrafts in the region, encouraged by the robust growth in air traffic, particularly in developing countries such as China and India.

The aircraft products and services market represents the largest segment within the aerospace and defense industry, while the modeling, simulation and training sector represents the fastest growing segment, displaying a CAGR of about 3.7% over the analysis period. Growth in this segment will be primarily driven by shortages of trained pilots in developing countries, such as China, India and other Asian countries. With a large number of new aircraft deliveries being made to developing countries, the need for experienced and skilled pilots in these markets will remain acute.

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Composites Supplant Use of Metals in Commercial Aircraft
Considered one of the breakthrough innovations in the materials sector, composites have gained increasing traction with their capacity to enable aircraft weight reduction. Their lightweight nature, which offers fuel efficiency, remains the primary factor driving uptake of the technology in the aerospace sector. Since the 1970s, composites have been widely used in the aerospace industry, replacing pure glass, aluminum, steel and titanium-based parts. Composites also manufacture easily on a large scale.

A new Frost & Sullivan report, Aerospace Composites, finds that technology adoption in aerospace occurs based on specific application needs. Changing value chain relationships evolve into excellent opportunities for aerospace companies. This associates with increased funding support for extensive research in identifying new technologies.

Although composites were developed during the 1930s, their applications were limited to making molds or dies for prototype aircraft components and tooling for aircraft. These first-of-their-kind composites consisted of glass fibers reinforced with phenolic resins. During World War II, the applications of these composites extended to fabrication of aircraft parts, such as ducts (of diverse shapes), engine nacelles and radomes.

Despite the tangible benefits they offer, composites possess some disadvantages that restrain market progression. Composites replace metals in aircraft parts; however, unlike metals, repairing them involves some technicalities. It is necessary to detect and repair this damage, as well as properly certify the product. Each intricate stage requires expert knowledge, which is not always readily available.

Issues such as delimitation of composites prove difficult to detect and necessitate sensors and other complex detection systems. On the contrary, any damage in metal parts mend easily using the traditional welding technique.

To move market prospects forward, research efforts must elevate to understand the properties of composites under normal and stress conditions. It is also necessary to identify new testing and damage detection systems. The results of such efforts provide proper training and assistance to industrial participants. In addition, this expands the expertise of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) companies with regard to composites.

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Modest Growth Projected for Flooring and Carpet Demand
World demand for flooring and carpets is forecast to grow 5% annually through 2014 to 15.3 billion square meters, according to “World Flooring & Carpets,” a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc. This will represent a noticeable improvement over market performance during the 2004-2009 period, when the 2009 global economic downturn depressed floor covering sales.

Market advances will be driven by acceleration in world residential building construction activity, supported by an upturn in spending in industrialized countries such as the U.S., and by healthy sales environments in a number of developing nations. Renewed strength in motor vehicle industry production after a period of decline will also contribute to overall flooring and carpet market growth.

In a reversal of historical trends, North America will register the fastest sales gains of any region through 2014, largely because of a strong rebound in residential construction expenditures in the U.S., with double-digit annual increases in regional motor vehicle output also helping to bolster floor covering demand. Developing parts of Asia will post the next fastest advances, followed by the Africa/Mideast region, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe. China alone will account for 38% of all additional sales through 2014, strengthening its position as the largest flooring and carpet market in the world (in area terms). Growth is also expected to be healthy in lower volume markets like Ukraine, India, Vietnam, Turkey and Thailand. Although increases will generally be not as strong as in North America or developing parts of the world, floor covering demand in Japan and Western Europe will climb as well.

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Refractories Demand to Reach 40 Million Metric Tons by 2014
Global demand for refractories is projected to rise 5.3% per year through 2014 to 40.7 million metric tons. China will remain the largest national market and will continue to comprise the majority of global demand, according to “World Refractories,” a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc.

Above-average growth will also occur in India due to solid gains in fixed investment expenditures. Suppliers will benefit from an improvement in the key U.S. market, which will rebound from dismal levels in 2009. Raw material supply will continue to be a challenge to refractory producers, especially those in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.

The world refractories industry has been negatively affected in recent years by a slowdown in steel and iron output. Given the refractory-intensiveness of ferrous metal production processes, coupled with the fact that this sector typically accounts for about three-fifths of the volume of refractories consumed, refractory producers contended with sluggish demand for their products in 2009. Markets most affected were the developed areas such as the U.S., Western Europe and Japan.

Despite declines in the amount of units needed per ton of steel produced, iron and steel will show the strongest gains of any market through 2014 due to rising steel production. Demand for refractories used in the production of other metals will rise, benefiting from increased output of materials such as aluminum. Gains are also expected in the nonmetallic mineral products market, spurred by growth in the production of ceramics, cement and other mineral products, fueling demand for associated refractories. Other markets, including petroleum, chemicals, paper and aerospace, will benefit from rising production by end users.

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