Wind-power plants are typically seen as a path to cleaner energy, but like pretty much everything in the world, they’re also an investment vehicle. And in that latter sense, they’re reflecting the current trend in fixed assets: Price are dropping. So says Bloomberg New Finance, reporting that the average price for operating plants fell 5 percent in 2010.
On the flip side, Bloomberg said, projects that are fully permitted but unbuilt saw their prices rise 25 percent, “reflecting fierce competition to secure good wind sites – especially in Europe – and a recovery from distressed prices in 2008-09.”
Bloomberg said its report was based on analysis of 875 sale and purchase transactions of wind assets, from early-stage developments to operating wind farms. The research firm said 26.8 gigawatts (GW) of wind assets were sold in 2010, a 15 percent increase over 2009, but not even half of 2008’s 53.9 GW. That said, the 163 deals that closed in 2010 represented a 60 percent increase over 2009, setting a new record.
“We are seeing the emergence of a new normality after the depressed acquisition activity,” said Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “As always, asset owners with the lowest cost of capital are the net buyers. What is different from before the crisis is that in many cases these are now long-term financial owners, rather than utilities.”