And, as the pundits have been saying for years, traditional energy sources will not be able to meet this growing demand.
Some people have been reacting to this with fear, and others with pessimism, but a growing number of entrepreneurs are responding to this with new ideas. They are finding innovative and creative ways to help save the planet. And, they’re not doing it because it makes them feel warm and fuzzy inside, although it might do that too. They’re doing it because they recognize the potential for profit; they see the demand and they are setting out to fill that void.
Entrepreneurship expert Evan Carmichael believes that the recent dramatic growth in the alternative energy industry is enticing more and more entrepreneurs to get on board. “Green energy is one of the fastest growing industries today,” he says. “It is no wonder that entrepreneurs are trying to catch the wave. There is definitely money to be made here.”
A recent study by green-technology consulting firm Clean Edge suggests that by 2010, the alternative energy industry will generate over $82 billion worth of electrical power, up from just under $10 billion today. The solar industry is predicted to grow to $51.1 billion in annual sales by 2015 while the wind industry is expected to grow from its current sales of just over $11 billion to $48.5 billion in 2015. A similar growth is expected with fuel sales, increasing its sales from today’s $0.9 billion to $15.1 billion in 2015. “That’s a flashing opportunity sign for entrepreneurs,” says Carmichael. “This market is ripe for the picking.”
In the U.S., venture capitalists invested over $150 million into green-focused startups in 2005, double the amount of the previous year. From solar photovoltaics to biofuels to organic foods, all of the largest venture capital firms are now backing clean technology projects.
“The overwhelming amount of media attention surrounding global warming has helped drive the demand for sources of alternative energy,” says Carmichael. “This is one of the few industries where supply cannot outpace demand. Entrepreneurs are picking up on this and using it to their advantage.”
But, as with starting a business in any other industry, Carmichael stresses the importance of properly understanding the field first. “Before entrepreneurs can enter the marketplace, they really need to educate themselves,” he says. “This is a highly technical and fiercely competitive industry, so you can’t just jump in there.”
Once an entrepreneur has the sufficient know-how and the capital to join the industry, Carmichael predicts that their future will be limitless. “Entrepreneurs have only just begun to scratch the surface of the industry’s potential,” says Carmichael. “It may be an uphill battle with conventional power, but it’s a battle that can be won and a fight that is worth it.”
Evan (EvancarMichael.com) is an entrepreneur and international speaker. At the age of 19, he became an owner and Chief Operating Officer in Redasoft, a biotechnology software company. The company quickly grew to over 300 organizations as clients, including NASA and Johnson & Johnson, in 30 countries. He started Evan Carmichael & Associates with the goal to give entrepreneurs the Inspiration to follow their passion and the strategies they need to succeed. Evan has delivered over 100 keynote presentations to entrepreneurs in North America, Europe, and Asia. He has been interviewed by newspapers, radio stations, and television stations including The Globe and Mail, CHUM FM, CityTV, Global TV, OMNI TV, Enterprise, and the Toronto Sun. Evan's website is the world's #1 website for small business inspiration and strategies.