Two interesting stories on the wind energy business this morning. The first comes from the L.A. Times and is headlined “Wind energy job growth isn’t blowing anyone away.” Reporter Jim Tankersley reports that “even though a record 10,000 megawatts of new generating capacity came on line, few jobs were created overall and wind power manufacturing employment, in particular, fell — a setback for President Obama’s pledge to create millions of green jobs.” Tankersley finds that energy from coal and gas is still cheaper than wind. And the renewable industry is importing much of its equipment. China has become the largest producer of alternative energy equipment in the world.
Meanwhile, Daniel Sinclair at gurufocus.com believes Warren Buffet’s (above) bid for Burlington Northern Railroad can also be viewed as a huge play in the alternative energy game. “You think Boone Pickens has an ambitious plan for wind farms?” Sinclair writes. “Wait until you see what Buffett could do right across the US with his investment in BNSF.” Sinclair says that BN has 32,000 route miles of track as well as 23,000 miles of other rail related infrastructure, and that much of it runs through areas ripe for wind or solar energy production. The rail line would also be prime right of way for transmission lines. And it could all be built without stirring up protests from landowners.