The Econo Miss

The combination of concerns over man made climate change, the increasing costs of oil and gas, and dependence on non renewable resources has caused an increase in investment and interest in green and sustainable energies. The green energy industry has been rapidly growing at a rate of about 40 per cent a year and in many cases has been outperforming the standard indexes.

The combination of concerns over man made climate change, the increasing costs of oil and gas, and dependence on non renewable resources has caused an increase in investment and interest in green and sustainable energies.
The green energy industry has been rapidly growing at a rate of about 40 per cent a year and in many cases has been outperforming the standard indexes. Wind, solar, and bio- fuel energies have receive the most investment. Although only about two per cent of global power generation comes from renewable resources, these same energies account for about 18 per cent of total global investment.
The total investment into cleaner energies increased from $80 billion to $100 billion this year.
The bulk of the investment is concentrated in the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The United States and the European Union account for 70 per cent of new investment.
Although the criticism of the Unites States for failing to sign on to Kyoto was quite severe, it is still in the United States where innovative clean technologies are at their strongest.
Asia and India also seems to be taking a larger interest in clean energies. China is hoping to reach a 10 per cent renewable energy target by 2020 and India hopes to reach that 10 per cent by 2012. Both countries show a sizeable interest in solar and wind.
Bio-fuel is quickly falling out of favour because of the potential damage to food supplies. India and China have already said they do not want their food crops diverted to bio-fuels. So the future is in solar, wind, geothermal, small hydro, and possibly wave-derived energy.
The biggest sectors green energies are competing with are power generation, hot water and space heating, transportation and off-grid energy.
There are 180 sustainable energy funds available today. Public funds have seen a 43 per cent increase in growth since 2005 and this trend in continuing into 2007. In part, the vitality of an industry can be judged by the amount of spending on research and development, and in green energy, this figure has been steadily on the rise and currently sits at 16.3 billion. The rapid growth and innovation can, however, lead to price volatility and fluctuations.
In such an environment, the returns can be very high, but so is the risk.

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