Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B), the multinational conglomerate controlled by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, plans to increase its investments in the energy sector. According to Buffett, his company will expand its utility businesses in Nevada and Western Canada and is betting on renewable sources of energy, as first reported by Noah Buhayar and Jim Polson of Bloomberg News.
Buffett's billions of investment in energy business
During the Edison Electric Institute's annual convention in Las Vegas, Buffett said, “We’ve poured billions and billions and billions of dollars in retained earnings, and several billion of additional equity. And we’re going to keep doing that as far as the eye can see.”
Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s businesses is composed of MidAmerican Energy Company, MidAmerican Renewables, MidAmerican Transmission, NV Energy, Northern Powergrid, Northern Natural Gas, PacifiCorp, Kern River, CalEnergy Philippines, and HomeServices of America. The multinational conglomerate's energy businesses operate power grids in the United Kingdom, natural gas pipelines from the Great Lakes to Texas, and electric utilities in multiple U.S. states, including Oregon and Nevada.
Additional $15 billion for renewal energy projects
Berkshire Hathaway Energy allocated $15 billion for renewal energy projects, including solar farms in California which will become some of the largest worldwide upon completion in 2015. Buffett said Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) is ready to invest an additional $15 billion into renewal energy projects such as those solar farms in California—aided by tax benefits as the United States aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Berkshire Hathaway Energy has $70 billion in assets and more than 8.4 million customers worldwide as of this year.
The billionaire investor emphasized that investing in utilities is a great way to preserve wealth. Buffet said, “So far, we’ve stayed rich,” since Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) entered the industry 15 years ago.
Comments on economy
In terms of the economic situation in the United States, Buffett said, “What we see is just steady, but far from spectacular, gains, and that’s been going on now for five years. And autos are getting very strong now; they’ve really come back. Housing looked like it was catching a big tailwind, and it’s still doing OK, but it’s disappointing.”
Buffett added, “Overall, businesses are getting better. But five years is a long time to come back from what was really the greatest panic I’ve ever seen.”
The United States Department of Labor reported that the U.S. economy added 217,000 jobs in May, which is higher than the expectations of economists. The unemployment rate was 6.3%.