Alternative energy sources have been gaining attention as mainstream investments over the past few decades. Geothermal power, wind power and solar power are the three most well-known alternative energy sources, and among these, solar power has gotten by far the most attention. According to Solarbuzz, the photovoltaic solar cell industry has grown by more than 800 percent between 2006 and 2010, and topped $38.5 billion in sales in 2009. If you are a wealthy venture capitalist, perhaps you want to start your own solar power company. If not, you can invest in one of the 20-plus publicly held solar power companies traded on a number of major stock markets worldwide.
Research solar power companies specializing in the development of solar farms. Given the capital intensiveness and economy of scale required to make solar farms a profitable business, there are just a handful of larger companies that undertake most of the big solar farm projects worldwide.
Take a close look at OptiSolar, EPG Solar, Siemens, and American Capital Energy as they are all major players in the fast-growing photovoltaic cell solar farm industry. Visit the websites of the companies for detailed information on their current operations and future plans.
Purchase stock or bonds or make a private equity investment in the solar farm companies you identify as the most promising investments. Most investment advisers suggest spreading out your investment over several companies to lower your risk, unless you are investing a small amount.
Most major brokerages offer free basic research on all publicly traded companies, so the research section of your broker's website is a good place to start once you have formulated a short list of companies you are considering investing in.
- Solarbuzz: Solar Energy Market Growth
- U.S. Department of Energy: Financing Solar Energy Systems
- Los Angeles Times: Future Cloudy for California Solar Farm
- NewNet: US Solar Farm Developer EPG Solar Secures $200m in Project Finance
- Public Service Electric and Gas Company: Construction of PSE&G's Yardville Solar Farm Under Way