Table: A Few Who Think The Market Is Ripe

Where some business titans are placing their bets

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns MidAmerican Energy, the nation's leading utility in wind energy. It has invested $385 million to build wind-power plants.

At GE, CEO Jeff Immelt is betting that green technology will fuel the next century of growth. GE sold $10 billion worth of clean-energy gear last year and plans to put $3 billion into clean-energy ventures by 2008.

Cascade Investments, the investment arm of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, has invested in Pacific Ethanol, a public company that is building an ethanol plant in California.

Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson plans to invest up to $400 million in a biofuel plant. He is also investing in wind power and trains that run on biodiesel.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has sunk $250,000 into Seattle's Imperium Renewables, which plans to supply 40% of the growing U.S. market for diesel fuel made from vegetable oil by 2009.

Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, is a biofuels evangelist. In the latest of a string of ethanol deals, Khosla Ventures and other investors are plowing $50 million into ethanol startup Altra.

Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have invested in Palo Alto solar-energy startup NanoSolar.

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