i encourage everyone to check out the site of ausra, a solar power company. if their technology works as they contend, and proves reliable, it has profound implications for many different industries on a global scale. it has major ramifications for the oil, natural gas, coal, mining, power generation, transportation, and utility industries.
the company uses simple, flat mirrors on swivels to boil water in pipes directly above and then generate electricity from that steam. all of the technology and components are widely available, well tested and relatively inexpensive.
if ausra succeeds, coal is obsolete, natural gas is freed up for a domestic transportation fuel, and oil becomes primarily a chemical feedstock. carbon emissions and energy supply problems solved. the company has significant new orders from utilities around the world.
obviously, these changes will not happen overnight, even if the technology works as advertised. but fortunes will be made and lost if we get serious about alternative energy and this technology works. i am trying to figure out how to play ausra's success as an investment theme.