In late 2009 the United States Treasury Department set aside $2.2 billion dollars for Clean Renewable Energy Bonds. These bonds were meant only for 805 different entities; none even remotely close to what you would consider your humble level of power brokering. But this kind of massive investment with government technology does show that the Feds are serious about clean energy. Since most any expert will tell you that climate change isn't going away anytime soon, keep your entrepreneurial ears perked for future federal action regarding clean and renewable energy investment.
If there is any industry that will be receiving massive boosts in their technological prowess at the hands of the U.S. government, it will be any industry that commits to alternative sources of fuel. This isn't just exclusive to already established energy powerhouses like Edison or super researchers like DuPont. While now in the midst of a global economic recovery we may see only the head honchos get the big bucks to invest in energy innovation, there will be plenty of demand for small business ventures to pick up the slack in the years ahead.
But why? New companies are more likely to hire people than institutions that already have an established staff and the means to lower personnel costs. With unemployment at a virtual standstill and that number likely to rise as much as it does fall over the next several years, the government is going to be very concerned with the amount of job creation entities promise to commit to in return for the ability to utilize government assets. The off-chance that your little company might figure out a way to drive a car on water faster than Ford is worth giving the funds to you as long as you're hiring.
If you're in no position to be starting your own energy research business, which is pretty understandable, then look into investing into these companies yourself, for the reasons just mentioned. A company in your hometown might just be a few years off from being in the position to receive these kinds of funds. If you can help them get there then figuring out the impossible task of carrying your investment yourself from start to finish is no longer an issue.
Good investments are made on things that can be foreseen for years to be necessary and also in fixing things that are clearly going to be problems. By this definition there is no investment more secure than one made into the pursuit for clean and renewable energy. Consider it the World War Two to our Great Depression...the War on Fossil Fuels will be what brings our nation out from the Great Recession. In fact, the investments made into renewable energy may be what brings the whole world out from the ongoing wars and depressions that have plagued humankind since, well, ever.
That sounds like one heck of a place to put my money. You bet?