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
Not to be outdone, legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens announced his own wind project in the same
Pickens, the 131st richest person in
"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 percent since IPO. The
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.