Wednesday 11th June 2014


June 11, 2014

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Buffett makes $30bn green power pledge

Berkshire Hathaway chairman and chief executive Warren Buffett has pledged to double the firm’s investment in wind and solar projects to $30bn.

The US investor has committed $15bn in these sectors, and Buffett told a conference in Las Vegas on Monday that he plans to invest a further $15bn.

Berkshire Hathaway is the fifth-largest public company in the world, and its energy arm has assets totalling $70bn generating 34GW of energy for 8.4million customers. Wind and other renewables account for around one quarter of this capacity.

Spanish law confirms subsidies axe

The Spanish government yesterday passed the decree that confirms major cuts to existing green power schemes including wind farms.

The government, led by the right-wing People’s Party, has confirmed that wind farms that became operational before 2005 have been stripped of all subsidies, despite the promise of the Spanish government that these incentives would be maintained for 20 years.

New wind farms will also receive no subsidies, while subsidies for projects completed between 2005 and 2013 have been significantly cut. The government passed a law in July 2014 to end renewables production incentives, and this decree was drafted in February.

SSE rues objection to 160MW Strathy South

SSE has said it is committed to winning planning consent for its 160MW Strathy South scheme in Scotland despite objections from Highland Council.

The Scottish council’s planning committee said yesterday that it objected to the proposed 47-turbine project in Sutherland because of the potential impact on local birds. SSE has said it considers the advice from Scottish Natural Heritage about the impact on birds to be “neither correct nor reliable”.

The utility said it wanted to resolving these issues at the next stage of the planning process. The council’s objection is likely to trigger a public enquiry.

Ofgem: OFTO regime saves UK up to £400m

Ofgem has claimed that competitive tendering under the UK’s offshore transmission owner (OFTO) regime has saved consumers up to £400m.

The UK energy regulator said the figure is from a forthcoming independent report on the progress of the OFTO regime. Ofgem and the Department of Energy and Climate Change set up OFTOs to attract institutional funding into offshore transmission assets from wind farms.

It revealed the figure on Tuesday to coincide with the full implementation of the laws that support the regime. It has so far attracted £1.4bn of investment into offshore transmission.

Read more about OFTOs in our special report, Tackling Transmission

Iberdrola to invest €3.7bn in Mexico

Iberdrola has committed to invest €3.7bn in Mexico in the six years to 2018, of which projects worth €1.5bn are already under construction.

The Spanish utility is investing in wind farms and natural gas plants in the country, and is also seeking to invest in solar and gas pipelines.

Chairman Ignacio Sanchez Galan said on Monday that the company wants to take advantage of changes in the Mexican energy market, where new laws in December ended the state-run energy monopoly. Earlier this year, Mexico’s president Enrique Pena Nieto said there would be no limits on inbound renewable energy investors following these changes in the energy market.

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