In what is billed the "most dramatic change in our energy policy since the advent of nuclear power", Gordon Brown last week announced a £100bn plan to boost renewable energy in the UK. With wind turbines at the heart of the new strategy, the BlackRock New Energy Trust is in a perfect position to capitalise the sector accounts for 40% of its portfolio.
Robin Batchelor, a geology graduate and BlackRock employee since 1996, manages the fund, which has risen 370% over the past five years against 70% for the FTSE World Index. It invests in firms working on alternative energy technologies, which are undergoing a boom period as oil and gas prices hit hew highs. This helps to improve "the economics for alternative energy", as Batchelor tells the FT. He likes the wind sector, which he sees as the "affordable, low-carbon, scalable power generation technology of choice".
Buoyant conditions look set to continue emerging market demand and fragile supply mean the outlook for oil prices remains strong, believes Batchelor. "If China and India were to increase their consumption per person to current US levels, these two countries alone would require 160 million barrels per day, more than twice the world's supply of oil today," he says in Money Marketing.
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Investors clearly agree; the trust trades on a 2.9% premium to its net asset value, a little pricey compared with the one-year average discount of around 1.1%. But for those who want exposure to the sector, it's worth monitoring the trust and buying on any dips.
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BlackRock New Energy Trust top ten holdings
Name of holding
American Superconductor Corp
Climate Exchange VCT
FPL Group Inc
Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica SA
Iberdrola Renovables SA
Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc
Vestas Wind Systems
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