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Where should I look for the future returns? January 6, 2009

Posted by shaferfinancial in Uncategorized.
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In my opinion, and I am a little biased in this, there is one area that will provide great environment for making money as well as great risk.  I see several trends coming together to radically restructure this area.  In the restructuring, there will be huge winners and huge losers, massive government intervention/encouragement, huge investments made, shifts in thinking, shifts in human behavior, and much opportunity.  Yes, it is the energy sector.  For the last 125 years this sector has been dominated by oil.  It won’t be for the next 125 years, that is for sure.  The cracks should be obvious.  Oil will become more dear, driving up pricing in the long term.  The West is starting to understand that feeding huge amounts of petro-dollars to the middle east is counter-productive to our society for multiple reasons, non-the-least because they really don’t like the West.  Global warming has passed the stage of theory into scientific fact.  And the technology to change is coming on board fast.  All we have lacked is the will to change.  And that is changing.  Whether it is the internal combustion automobile, the electricity grid, or transportation modes we now are starting to see the possibilities of massive change.   And the one thing all these energy systems have in common is how old and inefficient they are.   Quite frankly, in an emerging world of “smart” technology that improves our world, our energy systems are “dumb” technology.  And that will change.  This goes way beyond the arguments over “clean coal” or “natural gas” or “nuclear,” no we are talking about re-building the system from the ground up. 

Net-zero building design is when all the parts are super-efficient, while the building itself produces energy for itself (solar panels, geo-thermal, etc).  And it’s only a matter of time before we have net-zero designed residential housing.  Currently, the various energy producing systems are not interconnected, but in the future they will be controlled by computers inside buildings (even your home), which will automatically push some activities into non-peak times (dishwashing, etc.), control the incoming energy by switching from local to grid at appropriate times, etc.  Parking lots will be energy producers, charging electric cars and selling the excess energy to others.  The technology for all this is here now!

We, as a society, have been simultaneously avoiding this change as well as building technology, both small and large, to facilitate it.  I believe it is coming down the pike soon.  The opportunity it creates will be tremendous!




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