Alternative energy? BIG investment, as we've been predicting. Teensy compared to Big Oil

Four major components of the alternative energy industry are expanding rapidly. They continue to garner ever more investment.

Four major components of the alternative energy industry are expanding rapidly. They continue to garner ever more investment. A new market study shows major year-to-year investment growth for biofuels, wind power, solar photovoltaics, and fuel cells. A study by Clean Edge shows the sector's investment cachet and cache up 40 percent from $55 billion in 2006 to $77.3 billion in 2007.

Biofuels, wind and solar each showed global revenue over $20 billion in 2007, the first-time the three leading non-fossil, non-nuc folks can show those numbers. That's paltry, of course, compared to any major oil company. Exxon's annual revenues last year were $117-billion, more than all the alternative energy firms combined.

It now looks like Exxon will spend a significant slice of that huge revenue pie...on lawyers. Today they lost one round in their legal war with Venezuela. The government there has nationalized oil company assets. In turn Exxon has gone to court to freeze Venezuelan national assets in U.S., Britain and Netherlands. A British court today ruled against the asset freeze there. More time in court for Exxon and Venbezuela's battery of litigators. Venezuela has already settled with some European oil companies, but the bitter battles with Exxon seem far from over.

Wondering where America gets its oil? Click here.

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