Wind and solar: the ethical investments to avoid
Renewable energy is the future, say environmentalists. But for green and ethical investors it has turned into a nightmare, with makers of wind and solar power systems among the worst-performing stocks in recent years.
Take Vestas, the Danish wind turbine maker. Early investors enjoyed sparkling returns, but since then, beset by the loss of government subsidies, cost overruns, production delays and competition from China, the price has collapsed. Someone investing in 2008 will have lost nearly 95% of their money. Vestas revealed it had slumped into losses bringing total job losses for the year to more than 3,700.
Solar panel have also burnt a hole in investors’ pockets. Look at SunTech, the world’s biggest maker of panels, based in China. Its private equity backers made a fortune with the shares shooting from $20 to $79 in late 2007. And today? They are changing hands at just 92 cents.
Funds that specialise in renewable energy have fallen a long way short of expectations. Impax Environmental, an investment trust, has lost 20% over the past five years, while BlackRock New Energy investment trust has done even worse, falling 49.9% since 2007. It’s a salutary reminder to avoid investment fads and bubbles.
Les énergies vertes, à ranger dans la même catégorie que Bernard Madoff.
En passant, le Québec est devenu le numéro 1 de l’énergie éolienne au Canada en 2012. Ce « tour de force » a coûté la modique somme de 1,5 milliard de dollars et permettra de produire de l’électricité à fort prix au moment où le Québec est déjà en sur-production (les Américains produisent maintenant leur propre électricité, à faible coût, grâce au gaz de schiste).