Monday, 21 January 2013

Should energy investors bet against Warren Buffett?


A battle is developing between new energy and old energy and it is one that may present opportunities to investors.

Following the tsunami that hit the Fukushima power station in Japan in 2011, Germany shut down its eight nuclear power plants and began the process of building 16 new coal-fired plants instead. The first, which will supply 3pc of the country's total electricity needs, was completed in August, with the remaining 15 due for completion by 2020.

Needless to say, Germany will not be hitting its target of reducing carbon emissions by 40pc by 2020 – and prior claims of a complete conversion to renewable energy by 2050 look dubious too.

Green campaigners may be up in arms, but this local return to fossil fuels is indicative of a worldwide regression.

More than 1,200 coal-fired power plants are currently being planned worldwide according to the World Resources Institute, with three quarters of them in China and India.

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