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There's a lot of debate out there today about the role alternative energies will play in the marketplace. Will it be the next big thing, or will it falter and only crack a small percentage of the overall market? Regardless of what some think about the potential in alternative energy markets, a handful of distributors and manufacturers are finding opportunity in the field right now.
According to Green Chip Stocks, the global solar industry more than doubled from 2007 to 2008, at $37.1 billion in 2008. Spain's market for this kind of technology, for example, grew by 285%.
Rexel credited strong growth in solar markets for keeping its first-quarter sales in Belgium stronger than what it saw in the rest of Europe.
3M expanded its investment in renewable energy - particularly solar - by launching a unit dedicated to the market last fall. Prior to that launch, solar products were already generating $200 million in revenue for the diversified manufacturer.
But interest in the area is not confined to the largest companies. Hisco Inc., Houston, TX, a nearly $200 million distributor of die-cuts, adhesives and MRO materials to the electronic assembly industry, just announced the creation of a new position dedicated to the solar industry in North America, reflecting the increasing importance of solar as a renewable energy in today's marketplace.
While the U.S. market may not appear as strong as in European countries like Belgium and Spain, the market is starting to take off as funding becomes available to develop technology and markets here. (Green Opportunities in the Stimulus Package)"