You should recognize the name Marion King Hubbert.
If you’ve been a veteran reader of mine here at Energy and Capital, I would almost take it personally if you didn’t… almost.
We’ve all heard the now-famous story of M. King Hubbert delivering his historic speech that predicted U.S. oil production would soon peak and then enter an irreversible decline — a theory that we will certainly revisit in the future.
I’ll even wager you’ve probably heard about the the last-ditch effort by Shell’s PR team for Hubbert to tone down his rhetoric.
In fact, one minor executive assistant at Shell phoned the hotel mere seconds before Hubbert was about to give his speech, pleading with him to tone it down a bit and take the sensational parts out.
We both know what happened next.
M. King Hubbert stood at the podium and predicted peak oil production would occur within the next 10 or 15 years.
That’s precisely what happened… at least for a few decades.
The tight oil boom that exploded in several basins in the United States achieved what nobody thought possible — it reversed a 38-year decline in our domestic crude output!
Yet it wasn’t Hubbert’s sensational claim that oil output would peak that we found peculiar. Being a finite resource, that much is simply a matter of timing.
The interesting thing is the energy source M. King Hubbert believed would come next.
He flat-out tells you right in the title of his 1956 paper “Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels.”
Thing is, he’s not the only one who thinks so either.
Our Not-So Distant Nuclear Future?
Now, don’t get me wrong — the energy sector has undergone some spectacular changes in the 65 years since M. King Hubbert stood behind a podium at the Plaza Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.
It’s unfortunate that today’s nuclear industry carries the stigma of war and utter destruction.
If I asked you to close your eyes and tell me what you picture when I say the words “nuclear power,” there’s a good chance you would immediately conjure up images of a mushroom cloud or perhaps catastrophic events like the Chernobyl disaster.
You’re not alone, because I catch myself imagining the death and destruction we’ve seen in history.
Believe me, I grew up close to where the Three Mile Island accident took place, and for some of my old neighbors, it’s all they can think of when anyone mentions nuclear energy.
One thing’s for sure — it’s more than likely that you weren’t thinking of the next-generation nuclear technology that could provide safe, affordable, carbon-free power on an unparalleled scale.
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And to be sure, the nuclear industry certainly has its own hurdles to overcome. However, the truth is that every energy source on the planet has its own challenges to address.
Yes, even solar and wind power.
Although renewable sources will garner nearly all of the positive attention in the media as we begin transitioning away from fossil fuels, we can’t help but notice that the world’s richest investors are betting big on one of the most overlooked energy sources today — next-generation nuclear power.
From Jeff Bezos to Bill Gates: Billionaires Bet Big on Nuclear Energy
Take a look at the richest men on Earth, and I’ll guarantee that they’re betting on nuclear energy to power our future.
After amassing a fortune of $129 billion up to this point, Jeff Bezos easily claims the throne of the world’s richest person.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that his aerospace company Blue Origin is looking to develop a nuclear-powered spacecraft. Despite his enormous wealth, the Pentagon still gave his company a $2.5 million contract recently to develop it.
His competitors in the space — Lockheed Martin and General Atomics — both won recent contracts to design small nuclear reactors to blast rockets out of our atmosphere.
And we’ve talked about Bill Gates’ huge bet on nuclear energy. Gates founded TerraPower, which plans on building the next-generation nuclear reactors that could deliver an incredible amount of power to our grid in the future.
He even told CNBC that TerraPower nuclear reactors would complement a future U.S. grid powered by both wind and solar power in 2050.
There’s no secret to what will push nuclear reactor technology to the next stage: time, money, and, as Gates put it, “very competent people.”
Naturally, you and I can’t invest alongside Gates and his “like-minded visionaries” on this one. They locked away their vision in the private sector.
And that’s good news for us.
Because in this case, Bill Gates doesn’t own the monopoly on competent people developing tomorrow’s nuclear reactors.
Soon I’ll show you a company that’s positioning its technology right now to be a key player in the U.S. power grid.
Until next time,
A true insider in the technology and energy markets, Keith’s research has helped everyday investors capitalize from the rapid adoption of new technology trends and energy transitions. Keith connects with hundreds of thousands of readers as the Managing Editor of Energy & Capital, as well as the investment director of Angel Publishing’s Energy Investor and Technology and Opportunity.
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