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Alternative energy: Silicon Valley's next big thing?

Is alternative energy going to be Silicon Valley's next big thing? Stanford University already counts it among its top three research areas. And now because of the soaring price of gasoline, the timing couldnÂ’t be better.

In fact, nearly half of the people in the market to buy a new vehicle in the U.S. are leaning toward buying more fuel-efficient automobiles, according to a recent study by Kelley Blue Book and Harris Interactive. Another 30 percent would consider moving toward fuel-efficiency if gas prices approached $3 a gallon (which isn't that much more than what I currently pay at the pump in San Francisco.)