Oil price reports show that the movement of big Oil Companies toward investing in renewable energy has begun, albeit in a halting and hesitant fashion. The reason this process has started is that the major Oil And Gas companies foresee a time when demand for oil will peak and will start to subside, lowering prices and thus profits. It’s time, in the consideration of some, to get in on renewables such as solar and wind which have an enormous growth potential. Demand for oil may peak. Demand for energy has nowhere to go but up.

Big oil and alternate energy

Major oil companies have dabbled in alternative energy research and development at least the first energy crisis in the early 1970s. None of these efforts were very serious, designed only to be featured on commercials designed to impress customers as to the oil and gas companies’ social awareness.

What changed for alternate energy?

The advance of technology has made both wind and solar energy efficient enough that it is starting to make economic sense in certain cases. State governments and, until recently, the federal government provided subsidies for solar and wind. Renewable energy had begun to become something that the major oil and gas companies might want to diversify into.

One wild card: natural gas

Thanks to fracking, natural gas has become a plentiful, cheap, and relatively clean Source Of Energy. Moreover, markets for the product have started to expand, displacing coal as well as penetrated foreign countries. Thanks to the fracking boom, the United States has become an energy exporting country again, much to the distress of the members of OPEC.

Supplies of natural gas will likely not start running low for decades, if not centuries, and the product has become the favorite source of energy to run new power plants.

The other wild card: nuclear and fusion

Technology is also proceeding apace to create safe nuclear power plants, despite high-profile accidents such as happened at Fukushima.

The main impediment to building more nuclear plants is regulatory and legal, the latter because environmental groups can be counted to sue whenever a new plant is proposed.

The forever decades away technology of fusion power may be at last beginning to draw nigh. Safe, controlled fusion power would be a game changer insofar as the energy economy is concerned. Fusion contains the prospect of virtually limitless energy that is not tied to fuel prices and availability, and that is inherently safer and less polluting than nuclear energy or fossil fuels, Also, unlike solar and wind, fusion runs 24/7. Practical fusion power would complicate both fossil fuels and renewables in ways that cannot be accurately evaluated.