[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Get weekly updates

when your community is targeted


RSS feeds and more

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate via Paypal

Donate via Stripe

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Campaign Material

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Wind Watch is a registered educational charity, founded in 2005.

News Watch Home

Wind-power companies lose luster with investors 

Credit:  Ari Levy, The Chronicle with Bloomberg, San Francisco Chronicle, www.sfgate.com 6 March 2012 ~~

The weather’s getting worse for wind-power companies, which are finding it increasingly difficult to attract venture backers.

U.S. investments in turbine farms and wind-energy businesses tumbled 38 percent last year to $9.7 billion, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Venture capitalists have practically left the sector altogether. They invested only $177.6 million in wind startups last year, down 71 percent from the year before.

Wind power is bucking a broader trend for clean energy, which is seeing a surge of investment. Venture backers pumped $4.29 billion into the sector in 2011, up 13 percent from the previous year, according to the National Venture Capital Association. With wind, it’s harder for early investors to afford the large outlay of cash needed to get a business off the ground, said Jason Matlof, a partner at Battery Ventures in Menlo Park.

“We can’t compete as venture investors in capitalizing energy companies,” Matlof said.

There’s also a glut of turbine production – fueled by investments over the last half decade in the United States, Europe and Asia – and not enough demand. Global purchases of turbines will fall 14 percent this year from 2010 and won’t surpass 2011 levels for two years, Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates.

That’s hurting the biggest makers of turbines, the giant fanlike devices that turn kinetic energy from gusts of wind into mechanical energy. Vestas Wind Systems in the Netherlands and India’s Suzlon Energy reported wider-than-anticipated losses last month, and China’s Sinovel Wind Group estimates that its 2011 profit fell by more than half from 2010. The companies have seen their stocks plunge in the past year.

With a market that’s battering publicly traded companies, there’s little room for startups to find opportunities, said Matlof, whose firm has invested in one early-stage wind company, Modular Wind Energy.

“Historically, there’s been a handful of wind turbine companies that own all the development, all the technology and all the integration,” he said.

Wind companies in the United States also face the expiration of a tax credit at the end of this year, adding to their risk. The industry is seeking a four-year extension to the credit, which helps lower the cost of wind power to make it more competitive with traditional sources of energy.

Venture capitalists for the most part are steering their investments toward technologies that make existing energy sources more efficient and alternative-energy sources easier to deploy, Matlof said.

As far as investing in production itself, “that is not a winning formula going forward,” he said.

Source:  Ari Levy, The Chronicle with Bloomberg, San Francisco Chronicle, www.sfgate.com 6 March 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
   Donate via Paypal
(via Paypal)
Donate via Stripe
(via Stripe)


e-mail X FB LI TG TG Share

News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on X Wind Watch on Facebook

Wind Watch on Linked In Wind Watch on Mastodon