Written by Miranda Marquit
For the most part, Big Oil is hesitant to embrace alternative energy, preferring instead to push for more drilling. For some, however, it appears that the industry is seeing the writing on the wall. Even Big Oil execs know that the days of fossil fuels may be numbered. As a result, Exxon (XOM) is heading into the business of hybrid car batteries, BP (BP) is investing in jatropha and Chevron (CVX) is looking into solar energy.
Photo:Paul Robert Lloyd, Creative Commons, Flickr
That's right. Chevron is putting some of its eggs into the solar energy basket, rather than indefinitely relying on a limited resource. And it does make sense. After all, oil is far more likely to disappear before the sun runs out; the latter has billions of years of life left. So investing in technology that makes harnessing its energy for our use makes sense.
The interest of CVX in developing solar energy technology is an indication that it may not be solar energy companies that lead the way in technology development in the future. Other companies want a piece of the pie. And they may have bigger funding pockets. BloggingStocks makes this observation on where solar energy development may be going:
Given the potential size of the bonanza, the investments should not be surprising, but they could squeeze smaller solar energy companies out of the market. Firms like JA Solar (NASDAQ: JASO) and SunTech (NYSE: STP) have their entire futures bet on the success of solar energy and the fact that there are not many companies in the business, at least until now. This means that if you have been wary of start-up growth companies involved in alternative energy, you now have an...alternative. CVX is doing rather well right now, and diversifying its energy portfolio can only help, especially if current trends continue. Investors get the stability of a venerable and proven company, along with a measure of growth from a company that invests in a new technology sector. And, with CVX reaching out to renewables, it can give environmentally friendly investors a warm, fuzzy feeling about helping the company reform its practices.
Disclosure: I do not invest in any of the companies listed above.