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Trends: the New Clean Energy Economy

The first signs of serious interest in renewable energy and energy efficiency emerged in the mid-1970’s. Now, forty years later, the percentage of energy generated by renewables has edged up to 5-15% of the total energy supply. (The totals vary depending on the types of generation considered to be "renewable." For example, the energy created by hydroelectric dams is not always included.) At the same time, the 2013 revenues for the world’s 25 largest fossil fuel companies was $4.7T. So, while clean energy has grown slowly and is relatively small compared to the multi-trillion dollar fossil fuel industry, there is a lot of money flying around in the new energy economy.

Going forward, there are a lot of reasons to think that we’ve entered a period of very rapid expansion. Here are a few:

The big message here is that most of the the fossil fuel reserves currently held by the fossil fuel companies must must stay in the ground to avert a global catastrophe. That means that the stock prices of the fossil fuel companies, and the business models they are built upon, are very questionable. Long term, investments in these companies will become highly risky.

Divestors are people who understand these trends and have connected the dots - and they are pulling their money out of the fossil fuel industry. It's not a hard thing to do. And, it's a smart thing to do.

To learn more about these trends, there are many resources you can tap to gather more information. See the Resources page for some places to start.

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