More Capital for Renewable Energy on the Horizon

Private investment capital to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars is being assembled, fitting another piece into the puzzle of mainstreaming renewable energy. Last month we looked at some of these emerging investment vehicles; this month we’ve learned of more. Remember, keep checking our Venture Capital/Financing section for updates. Investors remain cautious of this sector; it can’t give “Internet-level” returns and past failures of the sector are still on peoples’ minds. But with the recent flurry of market activity around fuel cell stocks and heightening institutional concern, investors are signing on in increasing numbers.

Impax Capital is an investment bank with offices in London and Philadelphia that specializes in renewable energy and environmental technology. The company has raised over $300 million in debt and equity for its clients, and has mandates to raise $700 million of project finance over the next two years. One project is a 60 million straw-fired power station in England that will consume 200,000 tonnes of straw a year, generating electricity to supply 65,000 homes. Impax is a partner in the development of a $25 million venture capital fund, Entegrity II with James Heath, formerly president of Energy Investors Funds. Entegrity II will invest in development stage environmental technology companies. The company is also close to finalizing fund-raising for Clean Power Investments SCA, a Euro $30 million fund for investment in clean power and energy efficiency assets in Europe. Impax Capital designed and runs the ET-50 Index which tracks the stock price of the world’s pure-play environmental technology companies, and is investment advisor to a fund which invests in this sector.

D&B Capital of London is launching a $100 million Clean Energy Fund to invest in renewables and to clean up polluting plants particularly in eastern Europe. It will capitalize companies at a minimum of $5 million, typically in the 30 MW range. The company is considering about eight development stage projects including investments is
a UK offshore tidal project, a U.S. wind project, geothermal projects in
the U.S. and Central America, and biomass projects in India and Brazil.

Triodos, the Netherlands-based ethical investment bank which is listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange invests its $60 million in capital in a wide range of green projects and businesses from organic farming to wind energy. Dividends are tax-free in the Netherlands under the 1995 Green Tax Break. Its Wind Fund provides capital for UK wind projects.

In Australia, Energy Technology Investments is raising A$100 million from institutional investors to channel into renewable and energy efficiency technology companies. Another fund, The Renewable Energy Equity Fund, is a public-private partnership, with two-thirds of its A$30 million coming from the government. Its investments will help R&D companies commercialize their renewable energy technologies.

The International Finance Corporation and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) are among the backers of a different fund with a similar name, The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Fund. Fund managers are raising $150-200 million for projects in developing and transitional economies.

Impax Capital: Ian Simm
D&B Capital: Peter Dunev
Energy Technology Investments: Martin Poole
Renewable Energy Equity Fund: Merv Johnston
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Fund: Ken Locklin
Triodos: [sorry this link is no longer available]

Source: The “Quantum Leap Project”: Sandy Buffett

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