By Max Clarke

Increasing focus on sustainability in North America could drive the region to dominate the renewables market within 3 years, say PwC (Pricewaterhouse Coopers).

Globally, the renewables market is making a recovery, after economic uncertainty reduced investment considerably during 2008 and 2009.

“We expect confidence levels to remain relatively strong throughout 2011, despite regulatory uncertainty in some markets,” said Ronan O’Regan, director of renewables and cleantech at PwC.

“The growth in energy efficiency deals is not surprising, particularly in North America, because when you’re trying to reduce emissions, it’s where the quick wins can be found,” continued O’Regan. “There’s increasing consumer awareness around managing energy usage which, when supported with appropriate regulations, is creating an attractive market for energy efficiency service providers. This, combined with government stimulus packages, should see the US become a dominant player in the renewables deal market over the next few years.”

Globally, energy efficiency deals trebled in volume to represent over $3bn, or 11%of all renewable transaction value, overtaking last year’s dominant market segment, Hydro power. Overall, wind and solar power continue to dominate global transactions in the sector. The US market dominated growth in the energy efficiency market in 2010 reflecting both the potential for energy savings per capita, and renewed regulatory interest, such as new US building codes aimed at delivering a 30% energy saving in new builds.