Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. CEO Warren Buffett certainly made his presence felt at the Edison Electric Institute’s annual convention in Las Vegas on Monday.
Despite speaking at an event hosted by perhaps the leader in anti-solar sentiment amongst utilities in the US, Buffett nonetheless announced that he plans to double the amount of money that Berkshire Hathaway has invested into both the PV and wind energy markets in the US.
While discussing his company’s current plans of boosting renewable energy in the US, Buffett informed the crowd that Berkshire Hathaway has invested US$15 billion into the industry.
The American business magnate then added: “There’s another $15 billion ready to go, as far as I’m concerned.”
Such bold statements fit in perfectly with the “Wizard of Omaha's” strategy of investing in regulated businesses such as power companies.
Lawrence Cunningham, a professor at George Washington University, told Bloomberg: “Buffett has always steered Berkshire toward the future. Lately, that has meant intensifying the company’s focus on rudimentary, long-lasting businesses.”
Buffett entered into the power industry in 2000 after purchasing an energy holding company based out of Iowa and expanding it into Berkshire Hathaway Energy, which operates electric grids, runs utilities and invests in wind and solar projects.
With Berkshire Hathaway Energy retaining all of its earnings, Buffett acknowledged that reinvesting US$30 billion into the renewable energy market is certainly a feasible goal, stating: “We’re going to keep doing that as far as the eye can see. We’ll just keep moving.”
The announcement of Buffett’s continued support of wind and solar markets is good news to multiple industry leaders.
Nick Akins, CEO of American Electric Power Co. said: “It’s encouraging that he wants to invest because as an industry we have a strong need for capital.”