So far, Clean Line Energy has drawn investor support from the Zilkha family of Houston as well as ZBI Ventures, a unit of Ziff Brothers Investments, which is the principal vehicle of the New York-based Ziff family. Terms of the financing have not been disclosed.
Domestic demand. Because 29 states have renewable portfolio standards, demand for wind has a floor. Plus, states are ramping up renewable energy programs. For instance, California has required that one-third of its energy must come from renewable sources by 2020.
Emerging markets. More than two decades after the first wind farm at sea was installed in Denmark, Europe continues to lead the push toward greater wind development (the U.K. announced a major electricity market overhaul to include more wind in May.) It does face challenges in extending capacity in the current economic climate.
But the bigger story may be elsewhere. According to a report by the International Energy Agency, Brazil alone will add 32 gigawatts of renewable energy to its power grid within the next five years. The move will put the South American economic generator in a fourth-place tie with Germany in renewable energy investment, exceeded only by China (270 gigawatts), the United States (56 gigawatts), and India (39 gigawatts).
According to KuicK Research's "Brazil Wind Power Market Analysis" report, even though the power generation is dominated by hydropower in Brazil, wind power generation has increased by 500 percent from 2006 to 2011.
Bottom line: There are plenty of reasons for longer-term optimism after near-term caution. One advisable strategy when it comes to wind-energy stock investment is to dedicate the majority of your green portfolio mostly to larger corporations that bring stable yields, then fold in smaller companies that are innovating with new technologies or applications.