Not everyone is ready or able to fit solar panels on their property or install a wind turbine in their garden; however, the potential for making money on sustainable energy sources doesn’t end there. Investing in renewables is an established part of the move toward a low-carbon economy; there’s a clear chance to make a profit in an environmentally conscious way.
When we talk about the sustainable sector, most people immediately think of solar and wind energy; they are both inexhaustible and hold great promise. In particular, the offshore wind farm industry is growing at a very healthy rate, with various schemes being approved regularly by both the US and UK governments. Indeed, solar energy is now far more economically viable than in previous years. This is due to the availability of cheap raw materials for making the panels and the proliferation of government schemes designed to make the technology more affordable to businesses and homeowners.
The production of biogas energy is also being funded by grants from the US government through the USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS). This enables farmers to produce electricity through the gases released in animal waste. Similarly, biomass and cellulosic ethanol energy are created by fermenting plant matter to produce liquid biofuels. This is an industry taken incredibly seriously by numerous governments, and could eventually lead to the end of gasoline being used as a fuel. In fact, by 2050, the US is hoping to replace much of the oil imported from the Persian Gulf with home-produced biofuel.
With the price of gulf oil leaping to $150 per barrel, investment in clean energy has been steadily ascending throughout 2015. The rising star appears to be solar power, especially since the US government announced an investment of $59 million in the technology this February. In 2014, solar and wind technologies accounted for over 92% of investment in renewables, though biofuels and biomass still have a sizable foothold.
Concentrating on sustainable energy is vital to the economy as well as the environment, primarily because fossil fuels will eventually run out. The current estimate is that this will happen by 2088. Coupled with this, many countries in the West have become increasingly dependent on expensive foreign imports of energy, such as oil and gas. By investing in homegrown solutions, local jobs are created in building equipment or facilities, and in maintaining these. Also, the power produced is used domestically and the profits remain in the economy.
If you want to invest in renewables, there are a number of funds that have built up a sizeable portfolio of renewable energy assets. Alternatively, you can purchase energy bonds that raise money through international investments; these so-called green bonds are very popular in the US. Buying stock in related industries is another more risky option, as is investing in individual companies, but both are credible opportunities for investors who watch the markets closely. Whatever kind of investment strategy you have in mind, getting specialist help is always vital before you sign on the dotted line.
Peter Briger is the President and Co-Chairman of Fortress Investment Group, a company that provides expert advice on the most promising areas of renewable investment, and helps investors reach their financial goals faster. Fortress is a global brand with a highly skilled workforce and many competencies; their business plan is built upon serving the needs of their investors as a route to success.
Environmentally friendly portfolios are ideal for people who want to turn a profit while helping to build a more sustainable world. As long as it is done shrewdly and conservatively at first, renewable energy remains a solid investment opportunity.
(Photo Credit: naturalflow via Flickr)