Over the last few years, publicly traded alternative energy companies have been very sporadic with some returns up 100% and some down 90% or more just a year later. However, the sector seemed to peak again in 2009 raising over 100% once again. (http://www.worldlibrary.org/articles/alternative_energy) There are two main sources of alternative energy that most people look into: solar energy and wind energy. People look into alternative energy because it is a renewable resource that will help to conserve our environment; studies indicate that environmental awareness is slowly but surely growing. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-cohen/the-growing-level-of-envi_b_6390054.html)
One of the most prominent forms of renewable energy is solar energy, which converts energy from the sun into electricity. Reports have indicated that solar power installations have begun to grow, spiking 41 percent over 2012 to reach 4,751 megawatts; by the end of 2013 there were over 440,000 operating solar electric systems in the United States.(www.greentechmedia.com/research/ussmi) With these growths, solar energy became the second-largest source of electricity in the United States.
“Today, solar is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in America, generating enough clean, reliable and affordable electricity to power more than 2.2 million homes — and we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of our industry’s enormous potential,” said Rhone Resch, President and CEO of Solar Energy Industries Association.
Wind energy is also a growing source of electricity; the market is estimated to reach $301.3 billion by the year 2022. (www.marketresearchstore.com/report/global-wind-energy-market-outlook-28309) The wind energy market is projected to lead the market place over the next ten years because of the growth in energy demand. The reason that the demand for alternative energy is growing is because of politics as well as technological innovation. At the moment, the only thing restricting the growth of the wind energy market are costs of production, but in the future, that should be changing. The White House released a statement saying that the “United States could install up to 11 GW per year in new capacity through 2050, an ambitious but feasible deployment scenario comparable to the wind capacity installed in 2012.” (https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/12/fact-sheet-wind-vision-report-highlights-long-term-benefits-investing-am)
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (http://www.eia.gov) reports that renewable energy will be the fastest growing power source up over the next couple of decades. Newer investments in the sector have risen from $5 billion in 2004 to $50 billion in 2015. (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/strong-future-forecast-for-renewable-energy/) With elections coming up, and much of the world focused on environmental awareness, energy companies could see strong years ahead.