The green investment industry has been one of the fastest growing industries in last few years. Green Investments use traditional investment vehicles like stock, equities, funds or mutual funds, but the underlying business will generally be involved in projects to improve the environment. Often these projects support development of renewable energies.
Key facts about renewable energy:
• Global revenues for renewable energy grew from $ 75.8 billion in 2007 to $ 115.9 billion in 2008
• New global investments in energy technologies expanded from $ 148.4 billion in 2007 to $ 155.4 billion in 2008
Investors interested in green investment can choose from variety of investment areas:
1. Geothermal – works on the system of getting heat from the earth's core and use it as a energy source. The main positives are: low carbon emissions, because most activity takes place underground, and as there are minimum requirements on the land, the cost to generate electricity is very low. The most popular areas are Iceland, Hawaii and New Zealand. In the Philippines, geothermal power provides 18% of their energy, thanks to the volcano.
2. Green Buildings – buildings which are constructed to save as much energy as possible and to produce energy on their own.
3. Wind Power – one of the most common ways of investing into green energy. Wind energy is currently the fastest growing of all the renewables. Wind energy projects increase every year by 25% globally. The main pushing factors for this increase are climate change targets set up globally between governments. The Global Wind Energy Council predicts that the global wind market will grow by over 155% of its currents size to achieve 240GW of installed capacity by 2012. The most efficient way how to absorb the wind power and to generate as much energy as it is possible is through wind farm. A Wind farm is a group of wind turbines in the same location which produce electricity. The main types of farms are: off shore and on shore farms.
Key facts about wind energy:
• At the end of 2008 the world wind farm capacity was around 120,791 MW – increase of 28.8% compare to previous year
• In 2008 the wind power produced 1.3% of global electricity consumption
• The main European producers are: Spain, Denmark, Portugal and UK
4. Solar energy – Has a great potential to be one of the top green investment vehicles. Every day our earth hits enough solar energy to supply our demand for electricity for 27 years. The more sophisticated problem is to convert this energy into electricity at still efficient cost. There are two main solar technologies groups:
a. Solar Photovoltaic (PV) – this industry is currently worth around $ 50 billion annually
b. Solar Thermal Power
5. Waste Management – is monitoring of waste materials which involves collecting, transport and processing of waste.
• The average person in European Union disposes of 1200 lbs of trash per year
• The average person in USA disposes of 1700 lbs of trash per year
• Total number of trash per year for EU is: 1.3 billion ton
• Total number of trash per year for USA is: 260 million tons
In the article above I have tried to cover most common and important areas in which investors interested in green investment can invest. The other areas, also important are Hydrogen and Fuels Cells, Power storage, Renewable Developers, Smart Grids or Wave and Tidal. Let's hope that in the future more and more companies as well as single investors will be interested in Green Investments.