• 5 minutes Closing the circle around Saudi Arabia: Where did Khashoggi disappear?
  • 10 minutes Iranian Sanctions - What Are The Facts?
  • 15 minutes U.N. About Climate Change: World Must Take 'Unprecedented' Steps To Avert Worst Effects
  • 6 hours Can the World Survive without Saudi Oil?
  • 9 hours Sears files Chapter 11
  • 6 hours U.S. - Saudi Arabia: President Trump Says Saudi Arabia's King Wouldn't Survive "Two Weeks" Without U.S. Backing
  • 9 hours Natural disasters and US deficit
  • 6 hours China Is the Climate-Change Battleground
  • 1 day How High Can Oil Prices Rise? (Part 2 of my previous thread)
  • 3 hours Porsche Says That it ‘Enters the Electric Era With The New Taycan’
  • 2 hours $70 More Likely Than $100 - YeeeeeeHaaaaa
  • 2 days COLORADO FOCUS: Stocks to Watch Prior to Midterms
  • 2 days How Long Until We Have Working Nuclear Fusion Reactor?
  • 1 day Saudi A Threatens to Block UN Climate Report
  • 24 hours German Voters Set to Punish Merkel’s Conservative Bloc
  • 19 hours Threat: Iran warns U.S, Israel to expect a 'devastating' revenge
Alt Text

The Overlooked Giant In Renewables

The IEA expects renewable energy…

Alt Text

New Breakthrough Could Slash Solar Prices To New Lows

Scientists believe they’ve found a…

Alt Text

IEA: Renewables Set For Explosive Growth

The IEA sees strong growth…

Juan Cole

Juan Cole

Juan runs the popular geopolitics blog Informed Comment where he provides an independent and informed perspective on Middle Eastern and American politics.

More Info

Trending Discussions

Warren Buffett Betting Big On Wind Energy In Nebraska

Warren Buffett Betting Big On Wind Energy In Nebraska

Wind power is on a roll in the US despite a fickle Congress and the machinations of Big Coal and Big Gas to keep all the subsidies for themselves. And one of the world’s most successful investors, Warren Buffett, has noticed.

As of the end of the first quarter of 2015, 13.6 gigawatts of electricity generating capacity from wind is being constructed in 23 states via 100 projects. About $23 billion worth of new wind farms are being implemented. US wind power is expected to double, at the least, by 2020.

BHE Renewables, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., is going to open a 400 megawatt wind farm in Nebraska in 2016 that will increase the state’s wind-generated electricity by 50% and take the state closer to its goal of getting a third of its power from renewables. Nebraska currently has 800 MW of wind-provided electrical power. The state utility will buy all of the new production. Related: How Much Would Zero Emissions Cost?

BHE Renewables, founded in 2011, has invested $10 billion to generate 3.4 gigawatts from hydroelectric, geothermal, solar and wind plants. Utilities make long-term agreements to buy the energy. Since the fuel for these plants is free, there’s money to be made in generating electricity this way.

The 400 MW wind farm project was announced at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Omaha.

Responding, at the meeting, to criticisms that Coca Cola (in which BH invests) has too much sugar, vice chairman Charlie Munger, 91, insisted that sugar has kept his arteries from hardening. Buffett was quick to say that the two are not talking up Coca Cola, since they hope to buy more of its stock. People would be wrong to think they would do that, Buffett said. Related: Key Signals That Oil Prices Are On The Up

According to USA Today, Munger agreed: “If people weren’t so often wrong, we wouldn’t be so rich.”

The same principle seems to apply to Berkshire Hathaway’s massive investments in wind. Why wouldn’t everyone do that?

Another Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, MidAmerican Energy Company, is active in Iowa and the Midwest and it is putting nearly another $1 billion into wind in Iowa. MidAmerican said Friday that since 2004, it has invested almost $6 billion in wind energy. In Iowa, it currently powers some 1.2 million homes with 4 gigawatts of wind energy. The new projects will increase wind electricity by 522 megawatts in that state. That’s about half the nameplate capacity of a small nuclear power plant. Related: Audi’s Fuel Breakthrough Could Revolutionize The Automotive Sector

With two new wind farms finished, MidAmerican Energy will have 2000 wind turbines in Iowa. Even today, the state gets 27% of its electricity from wind, the highest of any state in the country, and it seems likely to go on up from there. Iowa avoids on the order of 9 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually because of its wind generation. (In 2011 the state put out 84 million metric tons of CO2).

The state’s record on renewables allows it to implement EPA carbon regulations much less painfully than will be the case in many other states.

Wind energy employs 6,000 people in Iowa, up by 2000 from 2013.

Cleaner air and avoiding pollution and climate change will also improve Iowans’ health. Otherwise, they are looking at shortages of clean water, increased asthma in children, increased infectious diseases, and a host of other problems.

By Juan Cole of InformedComment

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment
  • R Jensen on May 04 2015 said:
    He's been betting big on government handouts all along; why stop now?

Leave a comment




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