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Future Energy by Bill Paul

This article was inspired by Bill Paul's Future Energy . If you enjoy this article then consider purchasing or borrowing the book.

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How Fuel Alternatives will Change the Energy Industry

“This new technology revolution will present a major opportunity for investors all over the world.”

“In energy, every winning investment idea is first a winning political idea.”

While oil-producing countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, have more control over the oil supply than oil companies, U.S. residents spend more money on gasoline than ever before. From natural disasters to war, numerous factors can affect our access to foreign oil.

American politicians have failed to explore alternative fuel sources, and hardheaded environmentalists have actually stalled work on oil alternatives. By 2030, global energy consumption will skyrocket from 84 million barrels a day to 116 million barrels a day, yet oil companies have not looked hard enough for a replacement to oil. While the amount of oil being exported will be affected by increasing demand in the oil-producing countries themselves, the U.S. will rely on an energy infrastructure based in the Gulf of Mexico, a hurricane liability.

Approximately 750 million vehicles travel roads worldwide today, but by 2050, this number will increase to two billion, as growing nations like China and India will drive more cars. While mass transit can solve this problem in the U.S., American emphasis on mobility has caused people to rely on their cars. As a matter of fact, approximately 3.4 million Americans commute for over 90 minutes a day in their cars, refusing to consider other forms of transportation.

Since oil fields can’t produce forever, an alternative will have to be found eventually. In Iran, the second largest oil importer in the world, the oil demand will soon outweigh its supply, explaining the emphasis on nuclear technology in this nation. Rather than working with the U.S., China has been securing oil supplies in Africa, Iran, Canada and Saudi Arabia.

How can investors react to changes in the energy industry? Invest your money in the following industries, which will be less likely to experience oil shocks anytime soon:

  1. “Defense manufacturers”
  2. “Shipbuilding companies”
  3. “Car-sharing services”
  4. “Digital telecommunication services” – The number of telecommuters will increase to meet the costs of fuel.
  5. Railroads (particularly ethanol based ones)
  6. Hybrid car developers, such as Toyota and Honda.

As far as liquid fuel alternatives go, biofuels and unconventional fossil fuels are two options. While environmentalists protest deforestation, oil-companies lobby the production of biofuel plants. Both parties may slow down the production of ethanol plants and hinder biofuel innovation. Producing more energy than corn ethanol and acting as a greener fuel, cellulosic ethanol, which can be made from garbage and other types of waste, may be the fuel of the future. Unfortunately, cellulosic ethanol, like corn ethanol, is too corrosive for current pipelines.

Until new distribution systems are established, biobutanol is the most promising biofuel, with greater energy density than ethanol and a noncorrosive nature that will allow ethanol plants to easily adopt this fuel. While more expensive to produce, unconventional fossil fuels, like eco-friendly liquefied coal are being researched.


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