Pickens’ Epic Wind Fail

July 09, 2009


But just because the Mesa project is no more doesn't mean wind is done for, though even the American Wind Energy Association is expecting development to move slowly this year. 2008 saw 8,358 new megawatts come online, but 2009 is forecast to only see around 5,000 megawatts installed. All across the globe, companies are bringing wind farms online. From an offshore Welsh wind project that is scheduled to start this week, to China's push to grow from 12 GW to 20 GW by 2010 - more wattage is coming on line all the time.

But it is not all smooth sailing, and manufacturers are suffering. Guillermo Ulacia, chairman of Spanish turbine maker Gamesa, said, "... the industry will slow its deliveries to match supply with demand and avoid entering a dangerous spiral of price reductions," Reuters reported on Wednesday.

But even with the industry seeing a slowdown, two wind industry ETFs have shown gains since the beginning of the year. First Trust Global Wind Energy [NYSE Arca:FAN] and PowerShares Global Wind Energy [NASDAQ:PWND] both invest in companies across the world that are involved in producing wind energy directly or providing machinery or services related to the generation of wind power. FAN holds 57 companies, including some companies like BP and Royal Dutch Shell that don't, at first glance, seem like wind plays. PWND has more targeted holdings, with 31 companies - most of which are also covered by FAN.



It looks like a more targeted, narrow-focus approach is paying off in the wind industry, with PWND doing about 10 percentage points better than FAN since the end of April. And both ETFs have had a much better time of it than the S&P 500 since mid-April as well.

So even though it doesn't look like Texas is going to get its huge wind farm at this point, as we get through the rest of 2009 and look toward 2010, expect to keep seeing windmills in the distance.


Further Reading:

Investment In Cleantech Picks Up July 1, 2009 Forbes

Here at HAI:

Is Alternative Energy Dead? February 17, 2009

It's In The Wind May 25, 2008


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