According to a study by the German Aerospace Centre(http://www.dlr.de/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-13/135_read-13869/ , 56% of the world’s primary energy demand will be covered by renewable energy in 2050 if the right efforts are made, up from 13% today. To be more specific, 70% of heat production will come from renewable energies and electricity a staggering 80%. In the long term this is also expected to cut huge costs: it will become much more expensive to drill hydrocarbons and be faced with spiralling CO2 emission costs, and renewable technologies will inevitably become cheaper to develop. Furthermore, it is suggested that even with the expected continued growth of China, India and Brazil, global energy demand can be slowed through efficiency measures, and the periods for the renewable energy crossover staggered.
One interesting outcome of the report is discussed by Jane Burgermeister of renewableenergyworld.com (http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/story?id=54649) – that we will see a shift from a large and centralized system of energy supply to a much smaller and decentralized one. Each region will have a mix of energy sources dependent on its own geography and the sources best utilized – giving local based companies the chance to develop.
So although people may not be ready to start piling their money back into smaller businesses quite yet, staying ahead of the game is of great importance: it’s the small businesses of today with the ideas and drive who are going to be the ones that not only serve their local communities, but also hope to be the behemoths of the future. Barack Obama has talked at length about a green energy economy, and the world has taken note.
A few picks to take advantage have been mentioned in Seeking Alpha (http://seekingalpha.com/article/114471-from-long-shots-to-big-shots-small-cap-renewable-energy-stocks):
Lime Energy (Nasdaq: LIME, http://www.lime-energy.com/) – wireless monitoring of energy consuming equipment. LIME is currently selling at $4.50, down from a 52-week high of $11.99, with a market cap of $43 million.
EnerLume Energy Management Corp (EBB: ENLU, http://www.enerlume.com/) –Energy efficiency for parking garages, warehouses etc – specifically ‘intelligent’ management for florescent lights. ENLU is currently selling at $0.33, down from a 52-week high of $2.74, with a market cap of $4.6 million.
Akeena Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: AKNS, http://www.akeena.net/cm/Home.html) – Installers of residential and small commercial solar electric systems. AKNS is currently selling at $1.95, down from a 52-week high of $8.90, with a market cap of $57 million.
Juhl Wind Inc (EBB: JUHL http://www.juhlwind.com/) – Project development of community based wind farms, with local land owners who share ownership. JUHL is currently selling at $1.92, down from a 52-week high of $5.40, with a market cap of $38.5 million.
Composite Technology Corp (EBB: CPTC http://www.compositetechcorp.com/) – Produce a patented power transmission line which transports more electricity. CPTC is currently selling at $0.34, down from a 52-week high of $2.16, with a market cap of $96.5 million.
All of these are good examples of where to look for the next big growth story in the energy sector, it’ll be interesting to see how things develop.