With rising population and increased consumption and production in emerging markets, demand for energy is at an all time high. The OECD believes world demand for energy will increase 36% between 2008-2035, with 93% of that increase occurring in emerging economies. Given this demand, growth in the energy sector has a tremendous chance to continue at a strong pace. Whereas coal and oil use will likely greatly diminish in the developed countries, it will likely surge in China and the rest of the world. Due to all of these factors, the competition and demand for these resources will likely grow, which will likely increase the price individual consumers are willing to pay for these resources.
Although it will be difficult for the average person to privately invest in industries such as oil, gas and coal, the renewable energy sector will develop substantially and the required technology will become increasingly sophisticated. What’s more, the market for renewable energy sources runs the market spectrum of products and services. From purchases made by individual households to the establishment of new utility grids and infrastructure.
In the US, Obama has provided $2 billion in economic stimulus to support two solar energy companies, whereas Google has invested $38 million in wind farms. As well, there are a great number who see the renewable energy sector as the beginning of a new manufacturing sector in the West. The term “green collar jobs” is being used to identity the large number of workers now entering this industry.
That being said, what type of ventures and opportunities are currently out there for private investors? Solar power for one, is not just about installing energy panels on your house. Entrepreneurs are also looking at energy sources for individuals. Such items have been portable power sources to run your laptop, solar powered lamps, outdoor electric signs, panels on your, to even panels on satellites.
For others, the alternative energy sector is focused on creating new types of “bio-fuels” created from organic matter. Such start-ups are looking at bringing to market working energy sources made from an assortment of things: algae, human waste, hydrogen, agricultural crops such as corn, soybeans, sugarcane, palm oil. Some estimate the market for biofuels to reach $112.5 billion by 2019.
In general, the alternative energy sector has already had some major backers from both the private and public sector. Combined with increasing legislation to reduce CO2 emissions, the political impetus is there to ensure this sector thrives and develops into a permanent global market. As this industry appeals to a huge range of people, from ethically and environmental consumers to cost-conscious individuals, the possibilities and potential to make money are beginning to appear endless.