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Warren Buffett could double renewable energy investment to $30bn



Warren Buffett has said his Berkshire Hathaway holding company could invest a further $15 billion (£8.9 billion) in solar and wind projects in the US.

At a Las Vegas conference this week, the world’s third wealthiest man was reminded by his deputy Greg Abel of the company’s current $15 billion investment in the sectors.

Buffett swiftly declared that the same figure should be committed again, describing the overall potential of sustainable energy as an expanding market.

Bloomberg said Buffett responded to Abel’s prompt with, “There’s another $15 billion ready to go, as far as I’m concerned.” 

Buffett has remained one of the world’s leading investors in renewable energies, bankrolling major solar and wind power developments with multi-billion dollar investments.

Buffett’s Nebraska-based firm Berkshire Hathaway is now the fifth-largest in the world by market value. It has huge investments in regulated, capital-intensive businesses such as infrastructure and energy.

Buffett has described the renewables market as high in potential, with the predictability of reinvestment and large growth.

In 2011, he bought a massive California-based solar farm project from First Solar. Other investments include the acquisition of an Iowa energy holding company in 2011.

His unit now operates power grids in the UK, natural gas pipelines that run across the entirety of the US and wind farms in Iowa, Wyoming, California and Arizona.

Buffett’s pledge to boost renewables investment comes after Barack Obama declared tighter emission targets for coal power companies – with an overall aim of cutting emissions by 30% by 2030. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared this would bring net climate and health benefits of up to $82 billion (£48 billion).

Photo: Fortune Live Media via Flickr

Further reading:

Warren Buffet buys 2.7bn Exxon Mobil stake

Investment ‘sage’ Warren Buffet invests over 2 billion in solar energy

Carbon bubble: Obama admits world cannot burn all known fossil fuel reserves

Obama emissions plan could boost investment in renewables 

National Philanthropy Day: famous philanthropists in the spotlight