Though acting more slowly than enviros would like, BP Amoco and some other oil companies are developing alternative energy technologies at a faster pace than at any time since the energy crisis of the 1970s. As concern about climate change mounts, the companies realize that fossil fuels aren’t the wave of the future and see business opportunities in clean technologies. BP Amoco plans to expand its subsidiary BP Solar into a $1 billion business by 2007, up from $200 million today. Royal Dutch/Shell Group is investing $500 million in renewable power sources, including solar, wind, and biomass. U.S. oil companies are moving more slowly, but Texaco has made some investments in fuel cells. Overall, though, oil companies’ alternative energy projects are tiny compared to the rest of their endeavors.

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