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As the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere keeps rising, the effort to reduce them and achieve oil independence in the energy sector is revving up.
Across the globe, governments are increasing subsidies to provide that needed extra push toward sustainable energy in everyday life -- and you can get a piece of that action. Here's how green energy can be turned into more greenbacks in your wallet.
Any modern home in the U.S. needs power above all else. Green technology in this domain has several paths to take. One of them is nuclear power. Companies that sell nuclear power are on their way to achieving higher profits as economies progress toward oil independence.
Keeping that in mind, putting your money on uranium specialist Cameco (NYSE: CCJ ) might be a good bet. A report that appeared in Globe and Mail quotes TD Newcrest analyst Greg Barnes' estimate that the spot uranium price should hover at $75 per pound in 2011. If that happens, Cameco stands to cash in greatly in the coming years, as more countries such as China move toward nuclear power generation. Pay attention.
Here comes the sun
Solar power is another obvious opportunity for electrical generation. Companies such as Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE ) , for instance, are going full tilt into solar cell production in Asia. Recently, the Chinese government raised its goal for installed power capacity to 50 GW from 20 GW by 2020. The situation is not very different in other parts of the globe either. So companies such as Yingli and its competitors such as Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ ) will vie for greater pieces of market share in a market that is already expanding at a ridiculous rate. Take note: Canadian Solar is in the process of increasing its facilities by more than 60% in order to meet growing demand.
In an earlier article, I talked about how electric vehicles are poised to become a favored mode of transport in the future. With the rising price of oil, this reality is probably much closer than you think.
Alas, the cost of the battery stands in its way. Using ultracapacitors or electrochemical double-layer capacitors might save costs on the battery front. Ultracapacitors require less maintenance and can work efficiently even under low-temperature conditions. They are also largely recyclable, and therefore environmentally viable.
The key stock to watch here is Maxwell Technologies (Nasdaq: MXWL ) . Maxwell designs ultracapacitors. It has joined hands with Continental AG to supply microhybrid packs to diesel cars in Europe. This is definitely a company to watch.
Light 'em up
In the green energy sector, my last pick for the day is North Carolina-based Cree (Nasdaq: CREE ) . Cree manufactures LED bulbs and lighting fixtures that can be used with the existing lighting infrastructure.
These bulbs and fixtures are easily adaptable into the current lighting infrastructure. Cree is not directly related to energy companies, but it can directly contribute toward reduction in energy usage. Currently, lighting in the U.S. represents about 20% of all lighting expenses around the world. This amount translates to $40 billion every year. In a report last year, Pike Research had said that LED lighting will capture 46% of the total lighting market by 2020. Companies such as Cree will surely use this trend to glean more market share and high income.
As more people become aware of the grim situation that the world faces with regard to nonrenewable energy resources, clean, green energy will start to find more and more takers. With a government push for renewable energy, green energy companies like the ones I mentioned above will find themselves well-positioned in a profitable marketplace.
In the long term, these stocks and others are going to be highly profitable for the Foolish investor. But as with any other mass technology market, the initial phase is always receptive to the first movers. It takes a while before the market stabilizes to reveal a few winners. We might be looking at a few of those today.