Private Sector Driving U.S. Wind Market Forward

The onshore wind energy sector is booming in the United States, where there's enough of the renewable resource on hand to meet the annual demands for 15 million homes.

Apr 17, 2014 at 10:41AM

This article was written by -- the leading provider of energy news in the world. Also check out these recent articles.

The onshore wind energy sector is booming in the United States, where there's enough of the renewable resource on hand to meet the annual demands for 15 million homes. It may take one of the biggest retailers in the world, however, to usher in the necessary change in energy consumption.

The American Wind Energy Association said wind energy in the United States accounted for more than 4 percent of all the electricity generated in the country last year and the trend was on pace to continue.  America, the AWEA said, is increasingly powered by wind.

Now Swedish home-furnishing company IKEA says it's embracing the green energy fad with the purchase of a 98 megawatt wind farm in Illinois, its largest single renewable energy investment to date.  The world's largest furniture chain reported a 2013 profit of $4.5 billion, a 3.1 percent increase from 2012, and Rob Olson, the company's chief financial officer, said investing in renewable energy made good business sense.

"We invest in our own renewable energy sources so that we can control our exposure to fluctuating electricity costs," he said.

IKEA says the Hoopeston Wind facility outside of Chicago will provide 165 percent of the electricity needed for its entire U.S. retail and distribution footprint and offset carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to pulling 55,000 cars off the road.

AWEA said wind energy accounted for well over half of the new energy capacity brought online in the U.S. Midwest between 2011 and 2013. The U.S. Energy Information Administration puts the Midwest among the top in terms of wind energy potential and Illinois alone saw a 15.6 percent increase in wind energy from January 2013 to January 2014.

A report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns the continued use of fossil fuels is a key contributor to the emissions blamed for downward environmental trends. If policymakers are serious about curbing greenhouse gas emissions, IPCC said wind power capacity could meet 20 percent of the global electricity demand by 2050.

For the United States, 12 states combined to account for 80 percent of the wind-generated electricity last year and it was the oil-rich state of Texas that led the nation with nearly 36 million megawatthours of electricity generated from wind.

While the United States is behind in terms of offshore wind capacity, private sector interest onshore like IKEA's may help drive the sector forward. IPCC said more than $50 billion was invested globally in wind power in 2009, though it still accounts for only a small fraction of the global electricity supply. IPCC warned a business-as-usual approach to energy may leave the global environment in ruins. The wind energy market is expanding rapidly. For IPCC, with the right policies in place, the global potential for wind energy exceeds current global electricity production. For companies like IKEA, it's a business decision, but it may be one that drives the sector forward.

America's energy boom is far from over
Record oil and natural gas production is revolutionizing the United States' energy position. Finding the right plays while historic amounts of capital expenditures are flooding the industry will pad your investment nest egg. For this reason, the Motley Fool is offering a look at three energy companies using a small IRS "loophole" to help line investor pockets. Learn this strategy, and the energy companies taking advantage, in our special report "The IRS Is Daring You To Make This Energy Investment." Don't miss out on this timely opportunity; click here to access your report -- it's absolutely free. 


Written by Daniel J. Graeber at

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information