• 55 mins Oil Prices Inch Higher After Surprise Crude Draw
  • 2 hours Kuwait Greenlights Game-Changing Gas Fields Project After Years of Delay
  • 2 hours Minnesota Begins Public Hearings On Enbridge Line 3 Project
  • 3 hours China Looks To Create National Natural Gas Pipeline Firm
  • 3 hours Total Not In A Rush To Sell Canadian Oil Sands Assets
  • 4 hours DOE Seeks To Boost Usage Of Carbon Capture Tech
  • 5 hours Taxpayers Likely To Pick Up The Growing Tab For DAPL Protests
  • 7 hours WTI At 7-Month High On Supply Optimism, Kurdistan Referendum
  • 14 hours Permian Still Holds 60-70 Billion Barrels Of Recoverable Oil
  • 19 hours Petrobras Creditors Agree To $6.22 Billion Debt Swap
  • 23 hours Cracks Emerge In OPEC-Russia Oil Output Cut Pact
  • 1 day Iran Calls On OPEC To Sway Libya, Nigeria To Join Cut
  • 1 day Chevron To Invest $4B In Permian Production
  • 1 day U.S.-Backed Forces Retake Syrian Conoco Gas Plant From ISIS
  • 1 day Iraq Says Shell May Not Quit Majnoon Oilfield
  • 4 days Nigerian Oil Output Below 1.8 Million BPD Quota
  • 4 days Colorado Landfills Contain Radioactive Substances From Oil Sector
  • 4 days Phillips 66 Partners To Buy Phillips 66 Assets In $2.4B Deal
  • 4 days Japan Court Slams Tepco With Fukushima Damages Bill
  • 4 days Oil Spills From Pipeline After Syria Army Retakes Oil Field From ISIS
  • 4 days Total Joins Chevron In Gulf Of Mexico Development
  • 4 days Goldman Chief Urges Riyadh To Get Vision 2030 Going
  • 4 days OPEC Talks End Without Recommendation On Output Cut Extension
  • 5 days Jamaican Refinery Expansion Stalls Due To Venezuela’s Financial Woes
  • 5 days India In Talks to Acquire 20 Percent Of UAE Oilfield
  • 5 days The Real Cause Of Peak Gasoline Demand
  • 5 days Hundreds Of Vertical Oil Wells Damaged By Horizontal Fracking
  • 5 days Oil Exempt In Fresh Sanctions On North Korea
  • 5 days Sudan, South Sudan Sign Deal To Boost Oil Output
  • 5 days Peruvian Villagers Shut Down 50 Oil Wells In Protest
  • 5 days Bay Area Sues Big Oil For Billions
  • 6 days Lukoil Looks To Sell Italian Refinery As Crimea Sanctions Intensify
  • 6 days Kurdistan’s Biggest Source Of Oil Funds
  • 6 days Oil Prices On Track For Largest Q3 Gain Since 2004
  • 6 days Reliance Plans To Boost Capacity Of World’s Biggest Oil Refinery
  • 6 days Saudi Aramco May Unveil Financials In Early 2018
  • 6 days Has The EIA Been Overestimating Oil Production?
  • 6 days Taiwan Cuts Off Fossil Fuels To North Korea
  • 6 days Clash In Oil-Rich South Sudan Region Kills At Least 25
  • 6 days Lebanon Passes Oil Taxation Law Ahead Of First Licensing Auction
Alt Text

The Race For The “Holy Grail” Of Renewables

Energy storage is becoming an…

Alt Text

The EV Boom Is Dead Without Proper Support

As several countries across the…

Green Energy Sector Weekly Update: Wind Power Losing its Allure to Investors

After a couple of years of sustained growth, U.S. wind power investments have fallen off the cliff over the past year, pummeled by a combination of record-low natural gas prices, low power prices and ongoing uncertainty over the expansion of key federal stimulus programs. Add reverberations from the Great Recession and one starts to understand why U.S. installations of new wind capacity are expected to drop by 39 percent this year, according to a report released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

This cheerless state of play partly helped derail the much awaited Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Boston-based First Wind, which at one point had banked it could raise as much as $300 million. Instead, yesterday the company outright canceled the IPO, citing poor market conditions. Also, at issue, specifically with investors, is the company’s debt-laden balance sheet and the lack of large enough revenues in the foreseeable future that could quickly cut down that debt burden.

First Wind and underwriters Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, tried hard to get investors interested, even drastically cutting the value of the IPO by 24 percent. But in the end, even these basement prices failed to get investors interested. An industry source tells G.E.R. First Wind is not planning to relaunch its IPO. “I think it’s fair to say that the IPO won’t be happening anytime soon,” he explains.

Clipper Windpower, the California turbine maker, is another wind company that’s having a tough time. CEO Mauricio Quintana told G.E.R. that curtailing payments for existing orders by clients who put the brakes on their project developments put the company in a cash crunch and paved the way for United Technologies Corp.’s buyout. He says UTC’s backing will help Clipper through the slump as well as grow revenues. Over the next three years, with UTC’s backing Quintana targets revenues of about $1 billion, up from about $550 million this year. To reach that goal, the company will acquire a competing turbine maker and grow sales in key emerging markets including Latin America and Asia. “The sector is ripe for consolidation,” Quintana told G.E.R. “And if an opportunity presents itself, we will definitely take a look at it.”

Given Bloomberg’s bullish predictions for 2011 — it estimates global wind capacity to bounce back to 45 gigawatts from 37.7 gigawatts this year — Quintana better hurry and take advantage of this short-lived buyers market! After that, valuations of wind projects, in synch with demand, also will pick up.

In the solar sector, the outlook appears brighter, especially for BrightSource Energy. The ambitious California developer of utility-scale solar project this week scored a significant investment from Princeton, N.J.-based NRG Energy. The power company, which has been working hard to clean up its largely coal-dependent generation portfolio, announced a $300 million equity investment in BrightSource’s 392 megawatts Ivanpah project in California’s Mojave Desert. Depending on the project’s final construction costs — currently estimated at around $1.32 billion — the investment could net NRG a 60 percent stake in the project, CEO David Crane said.

For BrightSource the investment represents a significant boost and further security that the power plant will actually get done. Getting to NRG and its $300 million cash infusion was difficult. Since launching the project, BrightSource CEO John Woolard had to convince, in no particular order, desert sand tortoises, environmentalists, local regulators, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the Bureau of Land Management, and most recently NRG. Now, Woolard and his team are waiting for the Department of Energy to greenlight the (conditionally approved) $1.37 billion loan BrightSource is counting on to finance construction.


On Tuesday America is voting. In California voters will be asked to vote on Proposition 23, also dubbed the California Jobs Initiative. If passed, the proposition would suspend state mandates restricting greenhouse-gas emissions, in effect killing California’s ambitious green agenda launched by outgoing Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger has warned supporters of Prop 23 that passage of Proposition 23 would be a job killer and squash much-needed investments. Obviously, the green investment community has also rallied behind “No on 23.” One seasoned venture capitalist tells G.E.R. that the cleantech and renewable energy sector, for the foreseeable future can’t survive without strong regulatory support. “We obviously want proposition 23 to lose,” he says.

By. Green Energy Reporter

Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Anonymous on November 01 2010 said:
    PROP 26 is just as destructive as PROP 23. Prop 26 is a treacherous, Big oil rip-off, which "passes the buck" from oil corporation, clean-up fees to the taxpayer, who will pay the oil recycling fees, the materials hazards fees and other fees. If you do not understand the ambiguities and the intrigues behind Prop 26, then, vote no. Power to the people. BP, Shell and Exxon Mobil are silent partners behind Prop 26.
  • Anonymous on November 01 2010 said:
    The key thing to keep in mind is that, according to CARB, AB 32 will do NOTHING to help global warming, will cost jobs and have a negative effect on the economy. This comes from the very people who drew it up!AB 32 does nothing for local pollution.Prop 23 leaves us with the toughest pollution laws in the country, among the toughest in the world. It will NOT increase local pollutionIf Proposition 23 is rejected, here is what will happen according to expert sources:•A 60 percent increase in your electricity bill according to the Southern California Public Power Authority.•An 8 percent increase in your natural gas bill according to CARB’s economic analysis.•$50,000 more for the price of a new home according to an analysis by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.•$3.7 billion a year more for gasoline and diesel according to Sierra Research.

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News