Solar 15% Returns Lure Investments From Google to Buffett

A new article in Bloomberg Businessweek is reporting on the shift major investors are making that favors solar energy. According to the article:

U.S. solar developers are luring cash at record rates from investors ranging from Warren Buffett to Google Inc. (GOOG) and KKR & Co. by offering returns on projects four times those available for Treasury securities.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) together with the biggest Internet search company, the private equity company and insurers MetLife Inc. (MET) and John Hancock Life Insurance Co. poured more than $500 million into renewable energy in the last year. That’s the most ever for companies outside the club of banks and specialist lenders that traditionally back solar energy, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data.

Once so risky that only government backing could draw private capital, solar projects now are making returns of about 15 percent, according to Stanford University’s center for energy policy and finance. That has attracted a wider community of investors eager to cash in on earnings stronger than those for infrastructure projects from toll roads to pipelines.

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