Oil prices are heading back up. From today's Wall Street Journal:

Oil futures throttled to a 2009 high Wednesday despite a U.S. government report that showed crude stockpiles rose a ninth straight week and petroleum demand is still weak.

Light, sweet crude for June delivery was recently up $2.17, or 4%, at $56.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, hitting prices last touched in November. Brent crude on the ICE Futures Europe exchange rose $1.53 to $55.65 a barrel.

It seems to me that alternative energy will get another boost once the global economy turns for the better. I know that isn't going to happen anytime soon. But from an investor point of view its probably a good time to look at the track record of alternative energy companies; from a homeowner point of view I'd take advantage of any tax savings for energy efficiency; and from a car owner point of view owning or buying a gas sipping car is still a smart move.

Follow Chris Farrell at @cfarrellecon