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Graham Gallacher


I chose this question because I feel strongly about investing in things which will grow in future, having researched the potential of different industries eventually choosing to dicuss bio renenwable energy sources. I answered this question in an essay format using private research from secondary sources, disussing recent research conducted by scientific studies for what is most likely to groe and develop in the next 150 years. My thought process was to understand current global issues and how industries providing a solution to these will be most beneficial to invest in for the future.

If I Could Buy One Thing for your Future, What Would it Be?

If I could invest in one thing now to save for my future, I would invest in bio renewable energy. Bio renewable fuel is a renewable source of natural energy which replenishes itself created using biological reproduction or harvesting, any energy source derived from organic matter. As current supplies of fossil fuels have associated risks such as increased levels of harmful greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide and methane which contribute to global warming, we are becoming more reliant on alternative energy sources including renewable biofuels and therefore it is an expanding market with reliable potential for profitable investment.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) demonstrate a rapid increase in the use of bio renewable energy since 2011, in particularly in China with the highest growth rate of 2.1 GW (one gigawatt, or 1.34 million horsepower, enough to power a medium-sized city). Overall, bio renewable energy has experienced an average yearly increase of 8.3% consistently over the past 8 years. Director of IRENA Adnan Z. Amin explains confirms the use of bio renewable energy sources is expanding “at a fast pace, thanks to falling prices, technology improvements and a favourable policy environment” (Anan Z. Amin, Global Renewable Generation Continues its Strong Growth, New IRENA Capacity Data Shows, 5 April 2018) This data demonstrates that bio renewable energy is a sound investment because there is a continuous growth in this market and a more widespread use of renewable energy sources, generating more income.

In addition to the radical growth in the use of these fuels, recent developments in the field provide incentive to invest as switching to these alternative fuel sources becomes less costly and more widely available. Scientists from the University of Michigan have conducted studies which indicate species of algae such as nannochloroposis oceanica have Omega-3 fatty acids which can be used to power cars and mortierello fungus, which when placed together create more oil production than other methods which has solved the issue of high cost of oil harvesting, which was previously at 50% of production costs. This highlights that investing in bio renewable energy sources is more cost effective due to a higher yield of oil produced in comparison to other methods and cheaper as according to Dr Zhi-Yan-Du, research associate for the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology “The algae are very productive, and the fungus we use is neither toxic to us nor edible. It’s a very common soil fungus that can be found in your back yard,” (Dr Zi Yan-Du, Algae and Fungi to be Used for Biofuel System, 27th September 2018) meaning this fungus is a sustainable source of energy. This research shows there are many advantages to investing in bio renewable energy sources as their production methods become easier and they are increasingly cost effective in addition to easier scalability.

However, bio renewable fuels are behind other alternative energy sources such as hydro renewable energy as by IRENA standards hydro renewable energy has the highest energy production of all energy sources with an 1100GW difference between hydro renewable energy and bio renewable energy, indicating this is the more efficient energy source. Despite this, I believe bio renewable energy is their smarter choice to invest in as hydro renewable energy has experienced very little growth over the years in comparison to bio renewable sources exponential growth and new production methods. With recent scientific advancements including the production of algae bio renewable energy sources are likely to increase rapidly in popularity and use giving it more potential for expansion than hydro renewable energy. (Global Renewable Generation Continues its Strong Growth, New IRENA Capacity Data Shows, 5 April 2018)

Bio renewable energy also has fewer impacts on wildlife than other renewable energy sources. Solar power, which is growing at a similar rate to bio renewable energy, has perceived dangers to wildlife as demonstrated by solar farms in Utah and California have been responsible for killing 3,500 birds from 183 species between 2012-2016 due to the intense heat from solar panels. (How Many Birds Are Killed by Solar Farms?, 17th December 2018). Bio renewable energy carries no known risks to the environment, and therefore I have chosen to invest in this instead of other alternative energy sources.

In conclusion I see bio renewable energy sources being a profitable industry to invest in because supporting policies such as the Paris and new developments, such as those at the University of Michigan show high potential for profits because their methods are very cost-effective and I believe they will create more jobs because there is consistent growth in their use and investment from IRENA likely prompting more research and development in the industry. These energy sources would reduce our global carbon footprint with a little to no negative impact on wildlife which is higher incentive for expansion of bio renewable energy sources in the future.