Svea Herbstbayliss & Matthew Goldstein, Financial Post
NEW YORK . Famed shortseller Jim Chanos on Wednesday threw cold water on alternative energy companies, saying that shares in wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems AS and solar-panel maker First Solar Inc. likely will fall.
Mr. Chanos said solar and wind energy are not the panacea that many predict. He doubts the technologies will be that successful or create all the jobs that politicians have predicted.
“The cost of wind is 50% more expensive than natural gas,” Mr. Chanos said, noting that Denmark-based Vestas would be a good company to bet against or sell short.
The environmental benefits of solar power are also questionable, he said.
Mr. Chanos said he is certain he is on the right path on First Solar because top managers are leaving the company. “We advise you to heed their warnings,” he said, drawing both applause and laughter.
Mr. Chanos was speaking at the Ira Sohn Conference in New York, where fund managers talk about their investment ideas.
Following his comments, First Solar’s shares added to their losses and ended the day down about 2.6% at US$120.62.
Other stocks moved after presentations at the conference.