Going Green – The Road Ahead
In the past few years, serious concerns over the continual depletion of non-renewable energy sources have led to the rise in sourcing alternative energy like biomass, wind power or solar energy. Though the up-front costs of a renewable energy project are huge, the project ultimately turns out to be cost-effective considering the perpetual availability of the natural energy source. For investors, the opportunity to invest in green energy, which is becoming the environmental and economic future, provides potentially high and ethical returns.
Biomass consisting of forest residues, wood chips and garbage is converted to release electrical or heat energy. Biomass Power Association states that this type of power generation for electricity has grown by 25 percent over the last decade. In order to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, Dow Chemical has invested in a biomass cogeneration unit that provides process steam. However, the major difficulty with the biomass sector is its huge transportation costs. To tackle the issue, a small power plant, Iberdrola Renewables has set up its facility next to its customer, a paper mill in Tahoma. Xcel Energy, a major American power company, also produces energy technology such as biomass power systems. Companies such as Iberdrola Renewables and Xcel Energy could be examples of the growing future of the sector.
Wind energy projects involve converting wind power using windmills to produce electricity. With an annual growth rate of over 30 percent in the last few decades, particularly in Europe, wind energy is the fastest growing renewable energy next only to the biomass energy. Companies such as Vestas Wind Systems have increased their wind turbine capacities to meet the huge demand for wind energy.
Many companies are adapting to energy-efficient business practices. As businesses increasingly continue to demand renewable energy, opportunities for green energy have grown immensely. For example, Google’s $400 million investment in green energy has impacted its stock price positively. Likewise, GE Capital, ConocoPhillips and NRG Energy stocks have seen a positive rise in their stock prices after announcing plans to form a joint venture to invest $300 million in new energy development.