Buffett to double renewable energy spending

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is planning to double its $15 billion investments in wind and solar power in the United States, chairman Warren Buffett said.

Buffett made the announcement Monday at the Edison Electric Institute’s annual meeting in Las Vegas, Bloomberg News reported. Greg Abel, president of Berkshire’s energy unit, said the conglomerate had $15 billion invested in wind and solar.

“There’s another $15 billion ready to go, as far as I’m concerned,” Buffett said, according to Bloomberg.

Berkshire has lately been increasing investments in regulated businesses such as BNSF Railway and power utilities, which attract Buffett because of the opportunities for reinvestment and more acquisitions, Bloomberg said.

Berkshire’s energy unit owns electric grids in the United Kingdom, natural gas pipelines and electric utilities. In renewables, it owns wind farms in Iowa and Wyoming and solar arrays in California and Arizona.

Buffett’s moves in renewable energy show his confidence that the projects will give significant returns, Jeff Matthews, a Berkshire shareholder who has written books about the company, told Bloomberg.

Buffett is also a well-known donor for Democratic candidates and has raised thousands of dollars for President Obama.