Fifteen years ago, no savvy investor would have touched alternative or renewable energy resources — and rightly so. The technology wasn’t able to pass muster. It was clunky, unreliable and unnecessarily expensive. Worse yet, it had virtually no support in the mainstream. That was 1994, and the world was a very different place.
Today’s savvy investors are looking for something reliable, secure, safe and promising, the same as any other day. But what a difference a decade makes in today’s world! Today’s investors who are looking at the long haul, are looking at alternative energy. Huge investments come from what may seem to be some of the most unlikely places.
The Middle-east, for example, seems to be betting against themselves. They’ve sunk tens and scores of billions of dollars into investments in alternative energy technologies, and not to buy and bury them either. Hundreds of millions each in endowments and grants to the likes of M.I.T. (and just about every other prestigious university on the planet, it turns out,) were just the beginning. Masdar, a zero-carbon-footprint city sleeping 50,000 residents and a total of 90,000 people during the day, shows every indication of becoming a functional reality within a decade. Those wiz kids and profs they’ve invested in will be providing some of the technological advances needed to pull it off, and the Arabs don’t even have proprietary rights to the technologies. They just know a good idea when they see it, and are resolved to have a big place at the table as times change.
It’s not just guys in thobes with long beards and lots of money though. It’s also Wall Street, and Pickens, and Bill Gates, and just about anybody with more than a few nickels to rub together and the vision to see what ought to be the obvious truths:
We ARE going to run out of oil, so alternative energy solutions aren’t optional.
The list of people in favor of green is long and distinguished, and profitable.
The alternative-source energy market is climbing steadily, undiminished by even radical market fluctuations on the petroleum front.
Projections suggest a need for $26 trillion (in 2007 dollars) to be invested from 2007 to 2030, in energy infrastructure alone.
Whoever funds the need is going to make out like a bandit. Funding Green isn’t just some cute little philanthropy anymore. You don’t need to be any kind of tree-hugger to see that Green is good business.