Europe’s green energy companies are emerging as shelter for investors in market fallout from the coronavirus.
Utilities in the region are holding up better than other industries in the health crisis. While the Stoxx 600 Index of European shares fell 21% since the start of the year, the utilities component of that measure has declined only 14%. Within that, renewable power producers are outperforming their less green rivals.
The trend is most clear in Europe, where renewables developers rely on power purchase agreements and feed-in tariffs for the electricity they sell. Those deals have left the greener utilities insulated from the slump in power prices that followed lockdowns in major markets.
The best performers are the greenest utilities including the Danish offshore wind developer Orsted A/S along with Italy’s Enel SpA and Energias de Portugal SA. Others more dependent on wholesale power prices include Centrica Plc, Engie SA and Electricite de France SA, each of which has scaled back dividends and withdrawing earnings guidance because of the jolt from the virus.