Thursday, November 6, 2008

Alternative Energy Investments Under Obama

As reported in Time, Obama wants to launch an "Apollo project" to build a new alternative-energy economy. His rationale for doing so includes some hard truths about the current economic mess: "The engine of economic growth for the past 20 years is not going to be there for the next 20. That was consumer spending. Basically, we turbocharged this economy based on cheap credit." But the days of easy credit are over, Obama said, "because there is too much deleveraging taking place, too much debt." A new economic turbocharger is going to have to be found, and "there is no better potential driver that pervades all aspects of our economy than a new energy economy ... That's going to be my No. 1 priority when I get into office."

According to Blogging Stocks, "An Obama presidency would likely mean more to the alternative energy industry than any other factor to date. Obama's 'New Energy for America' plan will aim to put 1 million plug-in hybrid cars on the roads by 2015, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 and ensure 25% of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2025. Obviously, to enact such a bold plan would take a massive investment and mean billions for companies involved in the still-fledgling alternative energy field. With Obama touting the need for alternative energies in our economy, investing in the sector is one of the closest 'sure things' in the investment world."

Expectations are high for individual firms like Evergreen Solar (NASDAQ:ESLR), but as reported in Sunshine Kills Vampires, exchange traded funds (ETFs) are being touted as some of the best investment opportunties, as they offer a smarter, safer and more tax efficient vehicle for investors. Top picks include PowerShares Cleantech Portfolio (AMEX:PZD), and PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy (AMEX:PBW), the top historical performer in renewable energy exchange-traded funds.

Considering the US still lags behind Europe and Asia in alternative energy, Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy (NYSE:GEX), with its geographically diversified holdings (70% are overseas) represents one of the best opportunities.

Next: International Alternative Energy Investments

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