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Utilities plow more money than ever into energy transition, and private investors help them do it
Investors - OCTOBER 8, 2021

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Utilities plow more money than ever into energy transition, and private investors help them do it

by Drew Campbell

U.S. utilities are investing more than ever as net-zero goals and the need to make infrastructure more climate resilient become priorities, according to S&P Global Ratings’ report, Decarbonization Efforts Are Shaking Up Global Energy Markets.

“Spending for regulated electric, gas, and water utilities stood at an all-time high of more than $160 billion in 2020,” S&P noted. “This continues to shrink entities' financial cushions, which already were low and partly explain why about 30 percent of our ratings on U.S. regulated utilities carry a negative outlook.”

To raise capital for their capital-expenditure budgets and keep credit ratings healthy, utilities are using a variety of tools — common-equity issuance, as well as hybrid instruments, minority interests in subsidiaries and the sale of noncore assets, including many midstream infrastructure assets.

Those measures also are being augmented by private-equity investments, in particula

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