What’s going with the leading renewable energy companies, which were supposed to be leading the way to a new, brighter and greener future?
Tax evasion investigation clouds Vestas’s horizon. Image: Vestas
German online SHZ daily here reports that Danish wind energy giant Vestas saw its Hamburg and Husum, Germany, offices raided by German tax authorities earlier this year amid suspicions of tax evasion. Vestas executives deny any wrongdoing and said in a statement that they are cooperating with German authorities.
According to the SHZ, the raids of the German head offices took place on February 9th and involved cases over the time period of 2006 to 2011. Vestas German headquarters in Husum employ 2000 employees. The SHZ writes:
The case is connected to an earlier one involving former Vestas former directors who were accused of bribery in Germany. Over the past years Vestas has replaced almost the entire company management, and for this reason Sydbank analyst Jacob Pedersen sees little danger for the company’s image.”
Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal here reports that the SEC is investigating solar energy giant SunEdison’s “financial disclosures to investors about how much cash the solar-power company had on hand as its stock price collapsed last year.” The Journal writes:
Officials in the SEC’s enforcement unit are looking into whether SunEdison overstated its liquidity last fall when it told investors it had more than $1 billion in cash, the people said.”
SunEdison shares have collapsed since last summer, with shares down 96% from a July high. “The company’s market value has fallen to around $400 million from nearly $10 billion in July.”
These are just the latest examples of the woes dogging the world’s renewable energy companies. With so many in trouble, it’s hard to see any future for the branch.