Why Should We Invest in Alternative Fuels?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen
The planet's coal, oil and gas resources are not inexhaustible.
The planet's coal, oil and gas resources are not inexhaustible.

People should invest in alternative fuels because it is a booming industry with remarkable potential for growth and application. The “dot com” boom of the late 1990s was a disastrous investment for many people who found they had bought into a company with no real leadership and sense of purpose beyond simply existing. Alternative fuels, however, are about creating something tangible that will change everyone's lives. Regardless of a person’s stance on climate change or the use of fossil fuels, there is little debate about the fact that all such energy sources are limited. There is only so much coal, oil, and gas that can be retrieved from the planet.

Anyone who finds an alternative fuel source that is clean, reliable, and renewable will be sitting on a money-making machine. Safer, cleaner nuclear power may be the solution, or biodiesel, or fuel cells, or a combination of them all. The greatest success will go to whoever finds a way to make the theoretical into the practical.

From massive corporations to new start-up companies with only a few dozen employees, more and more people are casting their lot into the alternative fuels market. From the United States (U.S.) to China, from the United Kingdom (U.K.) to Germany, all over the world many of the greatest minds and scientists are pursuing avenues for new power sources. Much like the space race of the mid-20th century, industrial leaders are doing all they can to be the first one to solve the “energy crisis." They do this not only for the accolades and pages in a history book that will be devoted to such a solution, but for the very real financial rewards that will come from finding such alternative fuels.

Whoever holds the copyright or patent on the future of the world’s power will hold a fortune. Just as royal families in the Middle East have made their fortunes through control of the oil that fuels much of the modern world, anyone who controls the technology to power the world will have great opportunity for profit and influence. Unlike the space race, the rewards for finding new technologies to make alternative fuels a reality is not just about discovery. The benefits are about the very real creation of a new world power structure. Those who invest in that structure, be they private individuals, governments or corporations, will benefit most of all.

Discussion Comments


@David09 - I still like nuclear power. I know that doesn’t sit well in some circles, but it’s clean, safe and virtually limitless.

Yes, disasters can happen, but that can happen with any technology. I also happen to like natural gas as well but I don’t know much about that.

People talk about hydrogen too, using it to create alternative fuel for cars. But hydrogen requires a lot of capacity from what I understand. I’d give it some time before fuel cells are the new normal for cars.


@SkyWhisperer - I think it should be pointed out that it’s not just new startups which are forging ahead with the search for alternative fuel sources. It’s the big oil companies as well – at least if their advertising lately is any indication.

They’ve been promoting the fact that they are also putting billions in these technologies as well. Why shouldn’t they? They stand to lose the most if oil becomes obsolete (quite unlikely), so they’d rather hold the patents on the latest technologies for alternative fuel.

This is somewhat ironic, considering that Big Oil has been castigated as the bad guy in this debate. But that’s market capitalism for you.


@Mammmood - Well, I’d like to offer a caveat here. You touched on it briefly. Government subsidies do exist, but just as with ethanol, those subsidies don’t mean that the companies can’t fail.

We’ve had a couple of high flying alternative energy companies fail in a big way, all of them with billions of dollars in loans from the government. The problem was that while the capital was there, the demand wasn’t.

People just aren’t using solar cells or driving electric cars in a critical mass, at least not at the moment anyway. So while I believe you should invest, you should tread carefully. Alternative energy has as much potential to become a “bubble” as the dot com bust was, the way I see it.


One of the biggest incentives to investing in alternate fuels, in my humble opinion, is the fact that these technologies are heavily subsidized by the government.

Whether you are talking about wind, solar or whatever, the government has thrown billions of dollars in loans and special credits for these companies to get rolling. That kind of backing rarely happens but once in lifetime, from what I can tell.

That doesn’t mean that the companies can’t fail of course, but they do have access to a lot of startup capital that will enable them to start operating immediately. I think at least a part of your portfolio should be in the alternative energy market.

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    • The planet's coal, oil and gas resources are not inexhaustible.
      By: fotohansel
      The planet's coal, oil and gas resources are not inexhaustible.