Bill Gates investing in ethanol

Even Bill Gates is getting into alternative energy investing these days, it seems. At least according to this Reuters news story that says he is investing in ethanol. Maybe he decided that a Prius was just too small to drive to work, so he was looking for an option to make his Porshe 911 more environmentally friendly.

Seriously though, the article talks about alternative energy investments in general, and how they are growing.

Total venture capital between 2002 and 2005 has remained fairly stagnant at between $18 billion and $22 billion. However, the percentage invested in energy technology has risen from 2.7 percent in 2002 to 4.2 percent in 2005, he said.

“Clearly, something is going on,” Greenberger said.

In the U.S. Midwest, ethanol and wind farms have received the most attention from investors.

Last year, U.S. ethanol production reached a record 3.9 billion gallons, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. There are 97 ethanol plants operating and another 33 under construction and nine being expanded, according to the Renewable Fuels Association.

In 2005, U.S. wind generating capacity jumping 35 percent as companies invested $3 billion to bring an additional 2,400 megawatts online.

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