Global investment creating perfect storm for growing markets


As investment in renewables grows, more companies with specializations outside of traditional green energy sectors are hopping on the clean power bandwagon.

In a recent article, Bloomberg examines how deep-pocketed investors like Warren Buffet, who recently said his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. was ready to double its commitment to wind and solar development to some $30 billion, are setting the trend and inspiring greater involvement in the sector. At the same time, Bloomberg points out that China invested more than $56 billion in renewables last year — more than all of Europe, according to a report by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century.

Indeed, last month Switzerland’s UBS Bank issued a briefing paper to clients and investors advising them that large-scale, centralized power stations are 10-20 years away from extinction, adding that it’s banking on solar PV as the power source most likely to rise to the fore.

Bloomberg looks at Vaisala Oyj as a prime example. The Finnish manufacturer of meteorological equipment is looking to expand its business from traditional sectors like land and air traffic into renewables by offering its technology to green energy producers around the globe who can use it to better prepare for weather changes.

"What we sell is risk mitigation," the news agency quotes Vaisala Oyj CEO Kjell Forsen.

Vaisala currently provides forecasts to 130 GW of wind capacity worldwide and has helped developers secure more than $5.5 billion in solar-project investments, Bloomberg reports. Last year, it also acquired two U.S.-based energy technology firms, 3TIER Inc. and Second Wind Systems Inc.

The company’s technology can not only help green energy producers find prime spots for solar and wind parks but also secure cheaper financing by providing long-term weather data that investors can use to better assess risk levels in financing renewable energy projects.

The company, which currently offers services to energy traders, says the sector could become the biggest market for precise forecasts in the coming years.