Berkshire Hathaway Inc. plans to “put a lot of money” into energy, billionaire investor Warren Buffett said on Saturday.
Speaking during the question-and-answer session at the conglomerate’s
annual meeting, Buffett bragged that Berkshire will be creating as much power through wind energy as all of its customers in Iowa use.
Asked about how Berkshire should invest in energy, Buffett asked Gregory Abel, who is in charge of the company’s noninsurance businesses and is seen as a potential chief executive candidate, to respond.
Abel said Berkshire has focused on renewable projects in Iowa but was looking to expand, though progress would be slow. He did say, however, that Berkshire’s utility in Nevada will eliminate coal from its power-generation complex by 2023.
Meanwhile, Buffett, the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire, said the company has little patience for proving its bona fides on sustainable investing metrics, such as through filling out questionnaires on environmental, social and governance measures. Part of Berkshire’s success has been its ability to keep expenses and “needless reporting” to a minimum, he said.
Also, Buffett said he thinks Berkshire’s “batting average” is pretty good but that Berkshire is more interested in working with individual shareholders rather than institutions. While many American corporations live in fear that activist investors will “upset the apple cart,” that’s not a worry for Berkshire.