Though nuclear power has been around for decades, its role in the global energy landscape has been slow to develop. The alternative energy source has the potential to generate substantial power and is relatively clean and cheap to produce, but nuclear’s potential hazards has many unwilling to adopt the power source. There have been multiple examples of just how deadly a nuclear crisis could be – Chernobyl being the most disastrous and devastating [for more commodity news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
While the global economic slowdown has impacted nearly every corner of the investable universe, one commodity group that has been hit particularly hard has been energy. Oil, gas, coal, and even nuclear power have all fallen victim to sluggish economic growth and dwindling global demand. And in its annual energy report, BP takes a closer look at how exactly the global recession has impacted the supply and demand of some of the most widely-traded commodities on the market [for more energy news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
Alternative energy has been a hot topic in recent years, as it has been heavily debated in both the political and investing world. Some feel that America’s energy independence relies on the expanded use of alternative sources, while others disagree with that sentiment. Either way, alternative energy investing has surged in popularity in recent years as many have added long term exposure to their portfolios in hopes of this asset class growing as a whole. But investing in green energy can be a tall order, as there are numerous companies that offer dozens of different clean energy solutions [for more alternative energy news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
In recent years, nuclear energy has adapted somewhat of a negative connotation, as several scares, most notably Japan’s Fukushima crisis, have left many to become skeptical of the alternative power source. Nuclear energy is prized for being clean and relatively cheap, but safety concerns have stirred up controversies surrounding the commodity. Despite the understandable weariness investors may have, nuclear power continues to maintain its foothold in the global energy space [for more alternative energy news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
In early 2011 a devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami wreaked havoc on much of Japan, putting the country in something of a bind. One area that was particularly affected by the quake was the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Fukushima had taken hefty damages during the incident and began leaking radiation into the surrounding environment shortly thereafter. The result yielded not only devastating effects for Japan, but for nuclear power as a whole, as the global community lashed out at the seemingly unsafe energy source. The incident was enough to prompt Germany to abandon nuclear power in the next decade and has a number of other countries considering the same action [see also 25 Ways To Invest In Alternative Energy].
Alternative energy investing has surged in popularity in recent years as our world has felt the effects of basing the majority of our economy off of a finite resource. Though crude oil and other fossil fuels will last us for the foreseeable future, there will come a time when our energy consumption will have to look to alternative, renewable resources. The investment thesis behind any of the several alternative energies can be thought of as a play against crude oil, or as one of a natural evolution that we will have to face sooner or later. The timeline for our fossil fuel addiction running dry varies across the board, but it is generally accepted that this issue won’t come to fruition anytime soon [see also Major Countries Burn Up Crude Reserves: Big Oil In Trouble?].