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Big Oil Embraces Wind Power

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by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Feb 27, 2008
After years of watching the world's fastest growing energy business from the sidelines, big oil companies are playing catch-up and investing billions developing new wind power projects. "Shell and BP see wind as an increasingly important part of the energy industry," said Randall Swisher, of the American Wind Energy Association. "They want to look for new opportunities, and wind is clearly in their sights."

Shell is developing a $4 billion wind power project in the Texas panhandle. When complete it will surpass Florida Power and Light's "Horse Hollow" wind energy facility to become the biggest in the world.

Not to be outdone, legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens announced his own wind project in the same Texas panhandle area -- a project even larger than Shell's and costing $10 billion.

Pickens, the 131st richest person in America, amassed his fortune by betting early on promising new energy sources -- his largest holdings are oil sands giant Suncor, EOG Resources and Quicksilver Resources.

"I have the same feelings about wind as I had about the best oil field I ever found," Mr. Pickens said in an interview.

It looks like Pickens' bet on wind energy is a good one. So far in 2008, investors in renewable energy stocks have been sipping champagne while the rest of the market has been in the doldrums.

Wind energy developer Nacel Energy has seen its stock jump 70% since IPO. The Wyoming based Company announced an 80-megawatt wind power expansion January 10th -- enough energy to supply 25,000 homes. Analysts have a $3.07 target on Nacel -- nearly double its $1.84 close yesterday -- stating the Company is undervalued compared to its peers.

Also a favorite with analysts and investors is wind turbine blade supplier Zoltek. Other power producers with significant wind in their generation mix include Xcel Energy and Southern California Edison.

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Denmark sets renewable energy target at 20 percent by 2011
Copenhagen (AFP) Feb 22, 2008
Denmark aims to increase its use of renewable energy to 20 percent of its overall energy mix by the end of 2011, up from 15 percent today, the government said Friday.

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