Green opportunities

Clean Energy Investments

Because of mankind’s industrial activity, the climate is starting to change. Leading to more air pollution, rising temperatures, water level of ocean increasing. Furthermore growth in demand form emerging economies will become unsustainable, a projection indicate that china will need 90 millions barrels of oil day by 2030 (close to the current world production). Finally the major oil fields are old and at a level of 80-90 per cent depleted, extracting oil become uneconomic.

All the elements are creating unique opportunities in term of business. Here we will present you the various class of investments, what we can call green opportunities.


Economically efficient but require a lot of investments and a lot of turbines to produce the same output of a nuclear plant. A lot of people are reluctant to see wind farms installed because of the noise or the visual pollution. The Danish company Vestas Wind Systems is one of the major player in that field. The company position is only due to the large incentives created by the Danish Government. Gamesa is also a big player as a pure play. But the biggest ones are not pure players (GE and Siemens). China is also entering the market with company like Sinovel or Xinjiang Goldwind Science.


This technology is just becoming economically efficient (without incentives). Solar concentration has better results (concentrating the sun light on parcels). The companies acting in this industry rely on incentives provided by governments. For example, German company Q cells has grown only thanks to the generous subventions from the German government. In the U.S, First Solar is one of the leader.


700 additional nuclear plants around the world will be needed to match our current needs. But we have three problems with this technology:

1 Safety: No need to mention what happened to Chernobyl and more recently in Japan.

2 Nuclear proliferations: Which is the spread of nuclear weapons around the world.

3 Wastes: Until now we don't know what to do with the waste produced by a nuclear plant. High level waste must be stored for thousands of years until radioactivity drops to an acceptable level.


According to the world Coal association, global coal consumption has grown faster than any other fuel. China, USA, India, Japan and South Africa account for 82 % of the total global use. Coal still represent around 50 % of the energy consumed. Alpha Natural Resources could a good candidate.

A new technology had been developped it is the coal gasification: It's one of the cleanest ways to convert coal into energy. Instead of burning coal directly, gasification breakdown coal into its basic chemical constituents.


There is a shortage of potential sites for new large hydro systems. Large reservoirs required for the operation of hydroelectric power station result in the destruction of lands. China Yangtze Power Co is one of the leader in this market.

All these investments have something in common. we are not looking at companies trying only to answer a new demand. For the majority of them, a market has been created thanks to various incentives provided by governments. Feed-in tariff, energy taxes, taxes credits and rebates, subsidies are instruments used by government to create local super champion. Without governments help, some technologies are not economically viable.

Sometimes, incentives work too well. For example because of the current financial crisis, Spain has implemented a retroactive tax on energy produced by solar panels. In some case, the government was wrong. For example, subsidizing ethanol has provoked the price of corn to rise, leaving poor people in difficult situation, with an ethanol industry not economically viable. Despite the effects of government budget cuts, green opportunities have a bright and profitable future.

If you want to know more about green opportunities, you can go to the Clean Technica website.

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Nov 10, 2011