The industry journal for global investors, innovators & deal-makers
Prospects looking up for investment in green buildings
Clean energy becoming a core focus for lending banks US solar industry faces up to Asia challenge Global regulation vital to mobilise institutional capital Cleantech IPOs increase despite deal slowdown Indian growth capital flows into applied technologies Bioenergy resurgence points to growth in 2011 Deal Radar: New business and deal opportunities Global coverage of all envirotech and clean energy deals
water, waste & recycling
In-depth reviews, new perspectives and industry insights
Investment prospects looking up for green building sector
The scale of opportunity in the green sector is not yet matched by available capital, as it endeavours to gain a higher profile with investors.
Bioenergy resurgence points to growth in 2011 Despite a renewed investor interest in bioenergy, it is hard to pick a winner with so many technologies, and often competing approaches.
Corporate investors aim to leverage green growth Corporate investment programmes are proving attractive for large industrial groups eager to access opportunities in clean technology.
Cleantech IPOs increase despite deal slowdown Deal-making in the clean energy sector experienced mixed fortunes in 2010, despite an upsurge in the number of IPOs on previous years.
Industry Profiles Growth stories, expert insights and fresh outlooks from leaders in the industry
J Bryan Ashley, Suniva US solar industry faces up to Asia challenge
Essential news and intelligence on industry developments, investments and company activity
A challenging market for US solar manufacturing and a lack of support for home-grown technology has seen China take a leadership position.
Richard Pearson, Lotus Engineering Low-carbon transport reaches crossroads for fuel innovation The push for low-carbon transport is stimulating a wealth of competing technologies to gain an expanding share of the global automotive market.
Investment strategies and industry views from active investors across the globe
Varun Sood, Capvent Indian growth capital flows into applied technologies A focus on growth capital companies in Asia has translated into a mounting exposure to clean investments for private equity fund of funds Capvent.
Emma Hunt, Towers Watson Global regulation vital to mobilise institutional capital
Energy efficiency news
Listed company results
Institutional investment into renewables may not be forthcoming until there is greater certainty and consistency in regulatory environments.
Oscar Jazdowski, Alex McCracken, Silicon Valley Bank Cleantech lending dictated by fluctuating market conditions
The latest appointments, promotions and new initiatives for leading industry investors, executives and entrepreneurs
A change in focus from long-term project finance to more easily achievable gains in energy efficiency could help garner financing support for the sector.
Dr Eitan Yudilevich, BIRD Foundation Private capital shortfall set to hinder cleantech growth
Growth strategies and financing plans from the industry’s most promising companies
The BIRD Foundation aims to account for the shortfall of private funding available for R&D and commercialisation of emerging technology companies.
Allan Baker, Société Générale Clean energy a core focus for lending banks Favourable regulation has seen lending to renewable energy projects becoming an integral business line for a number of banks.
Deal Tracker A global round-up of all the deals publicly announced in the last month, including investments, acquisitions and major contracts
he clean energy industry enjoyed mixed fortunes in 2010, with the tightness of capital acutely felt by technology innovators, project developers, financiers and manufacturers. And while the anticipated growth of a low-carbon economy did not take place at the rate that many had hoped for, a renewed optimism is in place at the start of 2011. Industry participants of all kinds will hope that the necessary investment and finance will be on hand to support and drive the sector forward. One positive note was US President Barack Obama’s recent State of the Union Address, in which he set out a target of 80 per cent renewables by 2035. While clearly there is still much to achieve, the sentiment alone will give confidence as to the growing profile of the industry. President Obama also took time to point out the status of China and India as world powers, reflected strongly in their burgeoning clean energy markets and illustrated by the recent news of China overtaking the US in terms of installed wind energy capacity. In this issue we look at one of many growth prospects surrounding the energy efficiency theme, offering a more direct low carbon solution than many forms of renewable generation. Improvements within the built environment, such as energy management, lighting and water offer tremendous scope for innovative technologies. And while more prominent areas, such as wind and solar have historically received the bulk of investor attention and support, the immediate opportunity offered within the green building sector cannot be ignored. Another developing theme is the growing participation of large corporations and industrial groups investing in the sector, keen to take advantage of cleantech investment opportunities and incorporate energy efficiency technology into their strategy and operations. And with brand name companies like Google and Intel building their presence in this space, more mainstream participation is surely only a matter of time, helping to drive new technology developments and markets going forward. This month we profile leading companies in the clean energy industry, including US solar manufacturer Suniva and UK auto developer Lotus Engineering. From an investor perspective, we again look at the range of financing and investment activity, from bilateral investment programmes in Israel, to institutional investor engagement in clean energy assets, a private equity fund of funds in Asia and lending to renewable energy projects. Finally, we look forward to seeing some of you at our third annual Clean Energy LP-GP Forum Europe in February. And following three oversubscribed events in London, we are excited to be bringing the exclusive, invitation-only event to New York in March to connect North America’s leading investors. For more information go to www.LPGPForum.com/US. Benjamin Chambers Editor
Is your business an exciting growth story? Let the right people know. The Deal Radar section of Envirotech & Clean Energy Investor covers the growth and financing plans of dynamic companies and highlights prospective deals that are likely to be of interest to prospective investors, business partners and customers amongst our readership base. Companies, projects and pipeline transactions that get coverage in this section gain valuable exposure to 5,000 investment and business professionals across the global clean energy and technology community. Contact us if you know of a company, project or deal that merits the attention of the industry’s leading organisations and individuals.
Contact Chris Hardman: Email: Deals@EnvirotechInvestor.com Phone: +44 (0)20 7845 7576
Editor Benjamin Chambers Deputy Editor Natalie Coomber Production Editor Michael Davis Reporters Jessica Davies Richard Silk Contributors Sam Botterill Louise Wilkins Research Chris Hardman Design Mariola Gajewska Subscriptions & Sales Steve Walsh Sponsorship & Advertising Daniel Bean Publisher Richard Sachar Subscribe to Envirotech & Clean Energy Investor: £495/ $795/ €595 per annum CONTACT US Editorial Editorial@EnvirotechInvestor.com Tel +44 20 7845 7595 Subscriptions Subs@EnvirotechInvestor.com Tel +44 20 7845 7576 Advertising Ads@EnvirotechInvestor.com Tel +44 20 7845 7590 Head Office New Energy World Network Ltd Burleigh House 357 Strand London WC2R 0HS Tel +44 20 7845 7595 Printer The Magazine Printing Company Plc. www.magprint.co.uk Envirotech & Clean Energy Investor (ISSN 20428014) is published monthly by New Energy World Network Limited. Copyright © 2011 New Energy World Network Limited. All rights reserved. Registered in England, company no. 06695690. Cover ©IStockphoto.com/dinn To protect our environment papers used in this publication are produced by mills that promote sustainably managed forests and utilise Elementally Chlorine Free process to produce fully recyclable material in accordance with an Environmental Management System conforming with BS EN ISO 14001:2004. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced to any retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the express written permission of the publisher. Envirotech Investor and Envirotech & Clean Energy Investor are trademarks of New Energy World Network Limited. The information in this journal does not, and is not intended to, constitute investment advice, or an offer or solicitation of interest in respect of any acquisition of any securities or shares, or the provision of investment management services to any person or organisation in any jurisdiction. New Energy World Network makes no guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of the information and disclaims any liability including incidental or consequential damage arising from errors or omissions.
Investment prospects looking up for green building sector The scale of opportunity in the green buildings and construction sector is not yet matched by available capital, as it endeavours to gain a higher profile with investors.
ith an estimated 45 per cent of emissions a direct result of the built environment, tackling the inefficiencies in the heating, cooling, lighting and management in this area presents no end of opportunities for investors in clean technology. As many conventional renewable power sectors such as wind, solar and biomass continue to produce energy at a premium to traditional electricity sources and remain propped up by government subsidies. Both technology developers and financiers are increasingly focusing on those energy efficiency applications that can yield immediate results, allowing for easy integration within existing technology frameworks. National emissions targets have become increasingly centred on what can be done to green existing building stock, with efficiency measures offering an easier and more cost-effective solution than large-scale renewable energy generation. It has been estimated that by 2050, two-thirds of the buildings standing will be existing stock, emphasising the importance of not just green construction but re-thinking the energy use of ageing properties through retrofitting and upgrades. Corporate headquarters and iconic buildings around the world have now become pioneers of cost-effective energy management and sustainable building practices. In New York City, the Empire State Building has retrofitted each of its 6,514 double-hung, dual pane windows to be as energy efficient as possible. This was part of a $500m programme to reduce the building’s energy usage by 40 per cent, and also included ventilation and insulation upgrades as well as web-based smart systems for tenants to monitor their energy consumption. This was accompanied by a commitment to offset its entire energy use by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates from NRG Energy, meaning that the New York landmark will be effectively powered by wind energy. In London, the new Strata SE1 residential tower is the first building in the world with fully integrated wind turbines. It has been estimated that the turbines will be capable of generating about eight per cent of the building’s energy needs – a small, but significant amount and reflecting also
a new growth area in building-integrated, renewable energy generation. These projects highlight the opportunity both retrofitting existing stock and creating new architecturally green designs offer investors researching the space. But alongside larger undertakings such as these, there is also a wealth of opportunity in much smaller technology applications.
Poor perception Critical to encouraging innovation and new building practices is changing the perception of the costs surrounding these energy efficient technologies. Greg Kats, senior director at cleantech investor Good Energies and president of Capital E, says there are many misconceptions about the costs associated with green buildings and these are hard to change. ‘People’s perceptions of buildings change slowly at a time when building design is changing rapidly, and this mismatch distorts investments.’ Inaccurate perceptions, he says, include actual energy use and pollution associated with buildings and the cost effectiveness of upgrading homes and offices. Buildings are responsible for 45 per cent of energy use – much more than most people realise. Green buildings are also widely perceived to cost ten to 15 per cent more than conventional buildings, whereas actual cost premium, as documented in Kats’s new book Greening Our Built World is only two per cent. ‘Greening and deep energy efficiency improvements of both new and existing designs are widely perceived as being not cost-effective, whereas actual payback on an NPV basis over 20 years of operation is about ten times. These outdated misperceptions distort investment and design choices, in turn creating rich return opportunities for more informed building owners and investors,’ he said. With half of all new floor space built in the near future predicted to be in China, the technology, policies and uptake of green building technology is likely to have far-reaching effects. ‘The race on climate change is going to be very substantially determined by whether China builds inefficient buildings or green buildings,’ Kats says.
Misperceptions distort investment and design choices, in turn creating rich return opportunities for more informed building owners and investors
Green Building Growth Comcast Center, US Located in Philadelphia, the Comcast Center – so called after its largest occupier – has been both a key part of the city’s regeneration effort and a shining example of green design. It stands at 975 feet tall and is one of the highest buildings to receive LEED certification. Due to its efficient design, it uses about 40 per cent less water than a typical office building and its in-built water efficiency measures save more than three million gallons of drinking water each year. Its next-generation windows allow for 70 per cent of the sun’s light to be visible, while a glass curtain blocks out more than half of the heat. In addition, the building is equipped with an underfloor water loop that keeps the flooring cool in the summer months and warm during cooler times. Shanghai Tower, China Designed by the same architects as the Comcast Center, Gensler’s vision of the Shanghai Tower is for a super-tall sustainable building. When complete, it is set to be the secondlargest skyscraper in China and will be registered for a high level of building certification from the China Green Building
London’s Strata tower illustrates a new drive for building-integrated, renewable energy generation
management, on the space being used by building occupiers,’ Lovell says. ‘It has not been filtering through to anywhere near the level that we need to see for that kind of market shift towards a sustainable property sector in the UK.’ u
What has resulted, he says, is a lack of adequate funding in green building technology and energy efficiency. The cost benefit returns and risk reduction make building or retrofitting green, very efficient buildings a clear choice for the large majority of buildings. ‘In the venture capital arena, these misperceptions mean that fads such as hydrogen fuel cells and corn to ethanol have garnered billions of dollars in largely wasted venture capital investment.’ In contrast energy efficiency and greening technologies cost much less per kilowatt-hoursaved and therefore have much larger markets. Just in the last year, investment in energy efficiency and green building technologies has grown substantially, and energy efficiency is now the second-largest clean energy investment sector by dollar amount invested. Jon Lovell, head of sustainability at property consultancy Drivers Jonas Deloitte, reinforces the notion that perceptions around cost are very often not based on reality. ‘The economic downturn has had a paradoxical effect. On the one hand, there has been a lack of capital available to finance additional costs that may arise from wanting to build or refurbish to higher environmental standards. On the other hand, there has been a significant emphasis on cost cutting and that drives an inherent demand for efficiency.’ Although green buildings are starting to gain traction in the UK, challenges are still being faced to ensure top-level decisions made on energy management practices are implemented. ‘There is a serious disconnect between the level of awareness and attention given to sustainability at source – at the corporate board level – and the extent to which that cascades down to the coalface where individual decisions are taken on property investments, on asset
Committee and the US Green Building Council. The building’s transparent spiral will, according to architectural firm Gensler, showcase cutting-edge sustainable strategies and public spaces that set a new standard for a green community. It will feature built-in wind turbines and solar panels. In addition, it will boast ultra-efficient double glass insulation. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology was the first project in Saudi Arabia to be awarded LEED certification when it achieved the platinum award. The university says it attempts to be a ‘living laboratory’ by demonstrating that environmentally responsible methods of energy use, materials management and water consumption are viable in the Middle East. With 100 shared electric vehicles, charging points and a Segway sharing scheme across campus it has also incorporated green transportation into the use of the building. It also has two solar towers, 4,134 square metres of solar thermal panels and obtains 35 per cent of its energy needs from an outside renewable energy provider. It also treats all its wastewater on-site, which is either safely returned to the environment or used on-site.
A well-designed new building or retrofitted building today uses about 50 per cent less energy and water while paying back many times over. Of 170 buildings Kats looked at in detail in Greening Our Built World, 18 had efficiency improvements of at least 50 per cent, with average payback of over five times. And, encouragingly he sees an accelerating trend towards this shift. ‘My prediction is that by 2015, half of all new non-residential construction by square footage in the US will be designed green.’ The Bank of America Tower in New York, which was the first commercial high-rise to achieve LEED Platinum accreditation, is a clear example of a corporation embracing this change as a wider adoption of sustainable practices. ‘The decision for Bank of America to go green is based on the recognition that its headquarters is a 50-year asset, that long-term energy and water prices are rising, that employee health and well-being have big bottom line impacts, and that a high-performance building makes an important and positive branding statement. For the Bank of America, going green was both a cost- and risk-reduction strategy.’ In the US the energy efficiency industry is valued at about $20bn a year. Kats says the cost effective market potential for energy efficiency is more than $100bn a year. Achieving this scale-up requires new financing models building on standard measurement and verifications such as IPMVP to create large pools of efficiency projects that can be bundled at the scale of $50m to $100m. ‘The efficiency industry is close to achieving the consistency, quality and scale of projects to be able to attract large, conservative institutional capital. By providing third-party best practices, standards like LEED and IPMVP have been integral to driving forward progress. Real and substantial cost reductions come through an integrated design, and the LEED building approach drives this integrated approach.’ Regulatory pressure to implement change is most felt in Europe, but is also leading to a large export opportunity for Asia in particular, according to Lovell. With the stringency of regulations varying across Europe, he says the UK has in the past lagged behind its neighbours, even if new frameworks are being introduced to drive further change. ‘Over the past 18 months, we have seen a shift in emphasis towards the introduction of legislative pressure to improve the performance of existing stock, which is the key challenge to the sector.’ Kats says key to further adoption is linking technology providers with major end-users such as real estate firms, a practice he has undertaken with his portfolio companies. He cites SAGE Electrochromics, a smart glass technology provider, where this has been particularly successful and has led to further investment. ‘Getting channels to market is important, which is why I worked with TIAA-CREF to create an investment vehicle inside their real estate group to both co-invest behind Good Energies in energy, efficiency and green building deals and to deploy the technology. If you can shorten the time you are holding your investment from six years to four years, you will double your IRR.’ In order to construct zero net energy buildings, energy
Energy efficiency requirements must be combined with on-site renewables and these need to be integrated in an efficient and effective way
efficiency requirements must be combined with on-site renewables and these need to be integrated in an efficient and effective way. Investment will be crucial, as will increased dialogue between consumers and energy providers. Considering the scale of opportunity for new technology applications within both old buildings and new constructions, it is no surprise that there is now an influx of cleantech start-ups developing next-generation energy efficiency and
prevalent in Europe as it is in the US, so alternative market entry routes must be fostered, says Burth, while start-ups in this sector have to battle with other, more high-profile cleantech areas. ‘There is an increasing desire to invest in cleantech companies, but there is still a big focus on the renewable energy side and e-mobility,’ he adds.
management technologies that can be deployed in the built environment. However, there remains a disconnect between many of these technology companies and the investor community, according to Erwin Burth, head of cleantech business development, EMEA, at Autodesk, which develops design and simulation equipment used by architects and product manufacturers. Venture capital funding flowing into the sector is not as
While energy management and efficiency measures offer a vital means by which emissions and energy use can be reduced, in order to achieve genuine zero-carbon status buildings must also incorporate renewable energy production on-site. The building must become an energy generator, rather than purely a consumer of power. Looking to tap into this market going forward is renewable energy project developer juwi. The Germany-based company is known primarily for its utility-scale projects, but has in recent months set up a dedicated business arm to specifically target this fledgling market. Early 2011 saw the company commission the world’s third-largest rooftop solar installation through a partnership with solar company PV julist at the Goodyear Dunlop logistics centre in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. That single facility will alone generate 7.4MW of clean power through the deployment of 95,500 solar modules. According to company spokesperson Ralf Heidenreich, it is an area in which the company will look to cement a leadership in as prices of the power produced at these types of installations drops. He predicts this reduction will be vast within a relatively short time frame. ‘In two or three years, solar from rooftop installations will be cheaper than normal electricity power consumers are buying at the moment,’ he says. However, any such shift in market dynamics will need to be underpinned by stable government subsidies, he says, casting criticism over the German government’s recent cuts to the feed-in tariffs offered to the industry. ‘During these two or three years, we will need those subsidies and we need them to be guaranteed by law. The government needs to support solar energy to that point.’ Heidenreich says the desire of companies to invest in renewable energy sources comes from a genuine need to ensure security of supply. ‘In ten to 15 years, these companies will need green energy because they need secure energy and the best way of this is having their own source of power, which ultimately is cheap energy.’ Alongside major corporations looking to shore up their energy supply, Heidenreich says much of the initial interest in its recently-launched green buildings business segment has come from the public sector. ‘The first order came from the public sector. [The government] is very interested to make its buildings green because of its own renewable energy targets,’ he says. Combining opportunities for building-integrated renewable energy generation, along with technology retrofitting and energy management within a new breed of smart buildings, there is no shortage of applications within the green buildings sector. And while big businesses are beginning to appreciate the value beyond growing their green credentials, as with many areas, capital remains short.
Bioenergy resurgence points to growth in 2011 Despite a renewed investor interest in bioenergy, it is hard to pick a winner in a sector that incorporates a myriad of technologies, with often competing approaches.
any commentators are beginning to view 2010 as a year in which the bioenergy sector got back on track in its efforts towards commercialisation and deployment. Tom Shields, CEO at UK-based waste-to-energy company Sterecycle, says, ‘The return of investor interest has been marked in 2010. We had a difficult time raising money in 2008 and 2009, yet in 2010 we raised as much money as we have ever raised before, going back to 2003.’ Sean Sutcliffe, chief executive at biotechnology developer Green Biologics, shares a similar outlook. ‘We have seen more competition to provide capital and more willingness to fund a longer term programme in 2010.’ Sentiments such as these reflect a growing sense of optimism towards the sector. A report released in late 2010 by the Boston Consulting Group, estimated that biofuels will attain widespread cost-competitiveness within the next five to ten years, while PV and wind technologies are seen as likely to struggle without significant developments within associated storage technologies.
We have seen more competition to provide capital and more willingness to fund a longer-term programme in 2010
Prospects for 2011 There is optimism within the industry that positive investor engagement will continue into 2011, with some offering tentative predictions that this may even intensify as corporate investors continue their move into the sector. Sutcliffe says, ‘The chemical companies are beginning to look much harder at this sector. So other people are going to be moving from watching very carefully to investing very hard stage in the next year.’ Markus Rarbach, head of biocatalysts at Süd-Chemie, a German speciality chemicals company with annual sales of €1.2bn, also acknowledges that leaders of established industries will have to embrace a change in focus. ‘The vast majority of our business is conducted with chemical and petrochemical companies, but we see that our business is going to change in the next couple of decades,’ he says. ‘It takes some time and is dependent on many factors such as crude oil prices, but we have to develop processes and technologies to produce chemicals and fuels from other resources.’ This trend is good news for early-stage investors,
implying numerous exit opportunities may be available for the right investments. A growing appetite among emerging markets is also spurring investment within the biofuel sector. Sutcliffe says, ‘China is putting a lot of money into chemicals and biofuels, in particular focusing on the cellulosic side. The reason for this is simple – they don’t have the resources and are looking for energy security, and looking to maximise the output. They are well ahead in terms of investment, although probably still behind in technology. India has been slower to take up, but it is a buoyant market, very entrepreneurial and I also see quite a bit of capital available for investment.’ Nevertheless, increased investor interest may not result in tangible commitments, according to Shields at Sterecycle. ‘To say that the fundraising climate might be getting better is an apt way to put it. We still need to see more delivery in terms of real and substantial investments in the sector, but I am certainly getting a warmer response from certain banks focusing on project finance. We are also seeing certain private equity houses getting focused in this area and there appears to be quite a bit of funding available. I haven’t seen too much being deployed, but it is clear that there is a fair amount of research and analysis of the sector going on within Europe and North America.’ Sutcliffe adds, ‘In the chemical sector, there is a lot of support in the developing world if you are lower cost. In the biofuels sector, it doesn’t look particularly promising, unless you can undercut traditional fuels.’ The outlook is likely to be less optimistic for demonstration stage, capital-intensive companies. Süd-Chemie’s Rarbach says, ‘Getting support for commercialising technology is very difficult. It is relatively easy to get early-stage R&D funding, but when it comes to support for commercialising advanced technologies, it is very complicated. Conceptually, this is easier in the US, as they tend to be much more market-oriented. So the situation is different on both sides of the ocean.’ Such shortfalls make partnering with established industry leaders all the more attractive.
Latest developments With a range of cross-sector investor interest, certain technologies are beginning to gain favour. As Shields notes, ‘I have seen growing interest in waste as a feedstock, and also in anaerobic digestion. I think a part of that is political, with the new coalition government [in the UK] favouring that particular technology. But certainly the incentives available are driving us to look very carefully at this technology as a way of generating biogas.’ Perhaps reflecting a dearth of investment in 2008 and 2009, some companies have pursued alternative routes to commercialisation that are beginning to yield results. Sutcliffe says, ‘On the product side, I have seen a shift from biofuels to more valuable products. In our case it is
Industrial groups like Süd-Chemie are taking a closer look at the possibillities for non-fossil fuel-derived products
biobutanol, a chemical worth $2,000 a tonne, while other people are looking at insect repellents, solvents or plastics as a lead-in to biofuels. This means that people looking at ethanol production are in trouble.’ However, there is considerable space for different technologies in this sector, as many are applicable within different geographies, and for differing time horizons. Rarbach at Sud-Chemie is unwilling to rule-out the importance of ethanol. ‘We are working on a number of processes, including second generation bioethanol. This has become a bit unfashionable, but I do think it is a very important technology,’ he says. ‘In 2010, ethanol has been a good business and it has consolidated its position in the biofuels market, with good profits in the US and Germany. We have seen major deals in 2010 within this sector.’ This was aptly illustrated when oil giant Shell entered into a $12bn joint venture with Brazilian ethanol producer Cosan at the beginning of 2010. Sutcliffe says, ‘In comparison to India and China, Brazil has got a different track entirely. They are pretty sceptical about advanced biofuels, the reason being that they are making so much money from growing sugar and ethanol businesses, so that this is their focus.’ Rick Wilson, CEO of Cobalt Biofuels, which also produces biobutanol, is keen to take advantage of potential synergies. ‘Our position is if you blend butanol with ethanol you can actually put more ethanol into fuel so we are complimentary with ethanol.’ Süd-Chemie’s Rarbach takes a similarly pragmatic approach towards development of the sector. ‘In the short term, the answer is using waste streams and agricultural by-products, as these are in the markets today in reasonable quantities. In the longer term, I do see that we will grow energy crops.’ And while there is cause for optimism within the bioenergy sector in 2011, the sheer range of technologies, feedstocks and opportunities may still prove something of a barrier to entry to industries, investors and consumers.
Government backing, on the whole, looks to continue its support of the bioenergy sector, although this too is seemingly inconsistent and subject to change. Rarbach notes, ‘In the industrialised nations, commitment to making biofuels a viable technology is still there, although we are seeing some rethinking of the support mechanisms.’ Looking at the UK, Shields believes that the new coalition government has already instigated several changes and must do more to create the stability required for successful development of the sector. ‘The new government is still formulating its opinion of backing certain technologies, but I think it is clear that they support the biomass and biofuel sector, and wish to find ways of incentivising investment. However, I do not feel that we yet have enough clarity about the ongoing consistency and stability of incentives. We still aren’t there, but the will is there to do it and I hope we do get the kind of consistency and stability to give investors the confidence going on for decades about what the government position will be. That is really important for us.’ Greater government support would clearly be beneficial, helping to foster further improvements, such as the development of integrated piping networks, which would do much to improve industry efficiency and take biofuels towards commercial competitiveness. However, public support remains an issue, due to concerns over wider environmental impacts and sustainability challenges. The potential of biofuels has spurred private companies, investment vehicles and governments alike to invest in land throughout the developing world. In a Friends of the Earth report in 2010, it claimed that within Africa, an area the size of Denmark is now in the hands of biofuel producers, largely from Europe or China. Shields says, ‘We should move away from thinking of virgin biomass as the source for our feedstock, and move on to using waste streams, which represent a vast resource that can help us sustainably meeting our energy requirements.’
Corporate investors aim to leverage green growth Corporate investment programmes are proving attractive for both large industrial groups eager to access opportunities in clean technology, and emerging companies keen to take advantage of networks in an increasingly global industry.
ith international corporations such as search engine giant Google and technology developer Intel ramping-up their investments in the clean energy sector, both emerging companies and venture capital investors are keen to partner with these organisations and take advantage of established global networks. For strategic investors and corporate venture capital firms, a focus on clean technology increasingly ties in with an overriding corporate strategy and related energy efficiency issues, with these partnerships offering an invaluable step-up to commercialisation. While independent venture capital firms have a window of investment opportunity to invest along broad technology and regional parameters, corporate venture capital firms also invest to bolster their core business capabilities. According to Intel Capital’s cleantech investment director Heiko von Dewitz, there are two advantages of such a strategy, which aims to both stimulate the development of portfolio companies by taking them under the wings of a larger organisation and also to pool resources to feed back into a central revenue stream. Intel’s corporate investment approach sits firmly on the back of its envelope-pushing research agenda, he says, with the firm keen to differentiate Intel’s offerings in the wider investment community. It is one of the world’s largest corporate technology investors, and began committing capital to clean energy three years ago, with the policy of backing technologies that hold relevance to its central business. Since confining its investment criteria to green internet technology and smart grid, both allied with its core capabilities, Intel has extended its investment focus to encompass energy efficiency, distributed energy generation and photovoltaics. The firm invests between $200m and $400m each year on a global basis, says von Dewitz.
We have strong relationships with corporate decisionmakers and there is lots of direct engagement to make introductions
Conflicts of interest? While the success of corporate investors is dependent on piping revenue back into the main business, the risk-minimising
investment strategies of traditional venture firms are often hamstrung by the return requirements of their Limited Partners. While corporates invest in technology that supplements and complements their core capabilities, venture capital firms must also invest in a way that creates connections for business development partnerships, according to Cédric Latessa, investment manager of corporate-backed Aster Capital. The firm recently launched its second clean technology investment vehicle with a €70m cornerstone investment from energy and industrial groups Schneider Electric and Alstom, and is looking to continue its strategic investment focus on clean energy transport, smart infrastructure, waste and water treatment. Although investing in a previous incarnation as Schneider Electric Ventures, Aster now operates as a venture capital firm that can function independently, while also tapping into its corporate relationships to help advance portfolio companies, arranging contracts with sponsors to give investees a jump-start. It is this promise of building connections with large industry players that offers an attractive proposition for companies looking to scale and commercialise early-stage technologies, according to Latessa. ‘By integrating companies in to a catalogue of sponsors, they are offered a fantastic platform for commercialisation at minimal cost,’ he says. ‘When we invest, we try to differentiate ourselves, using our sponsors to understand the market and helping companies to enter new markets so they are not competing.’ However, he insists that this does not affect the firm’s independence. ‘We have made 25 investments and six exits. We invest just like a VC; none of our corporates are involved,’ he says. Intel’s von Dewitz adds, ‘I don’t see there being any corporate restraints in investing through a corporate venture capital vehicle, because these can be mitigated by doing pre-investment due diligence on both sides.’ The primary advantage for corporate investors is their ability to leverage the footing of parent companies to lend credibility to start-ups and help them gain traction in the clean energy market by facilitating customer introductions.
In contrast, by choosing to concentrate on the asset financing investment angle, Google’s activities in this area aim to side-step any potential conflicts of interest arising from its investments, according to its head of green business operations Benjamin Kott. Google pioneered corporate strategic investing in clean energy in 2007, through a programme to invest in clean energy technologies that could rival coal, investing around $45m in six companies. According to Kott, the search engine giant’s strategic focus goes beyond greening their data centres, aiming to use energy as a springboard for further renewable-related investments. Its strategy is to invest in generating added renewable energy capacity through technologies that can be scaled, such as solar thermal, geothermal and high altitude wind. The search engine giant made a key investment into a US wind farm in 2009 and has since backed the Atlantic Wind Connection, having secured 150MW of clean electricity under power purchase agreements. With the backing of its parent company and a relative lack of investor accountability, corporate investors often have more flexibility when it comes to decisions over investment stage and portfolio risk. In comparison, while independent venture capital firms may have more cautious risk profiles, often with shorter investment terms, they may also enjoy broader technology parameters than corporate investors. ‘The strategic agenda can change and corporate strategic investment should not be perceived as a restraint. We have strong relationships with corporate decision-makers and there is lots of direct engagement to make introductions,’ says Intel’s von Dewitz. The growth seen in the clean technology sector, coupled with related opportunites and synergies within existing business lines holds considerable appeal for corporates. And while independents are less likely to be investment stageagnostic, they are more likely to be company- or technologyagnostic, due to the emphasis they place on core capability strength. By focusing on growth capital, corporate investors such as Intel Capital hope to draw on existing manufacturing
competence, as well as opportunities across various sectors, leveraging similarities between solar PV and semiconductor manufacturing, for example. Sub-sectors of these focus areas defined by its investment strategy provide further growth opportunities for Intel’s core business, particularly related to energy efficiency and smart grid. ‘We try to converge the promise of trends into true economic value through hard nuts-and-bolts work building companies in a regulatory environment that is getting increasingly less generous. Building good companies harvests those trends,’ he says.
Corporate backers such as Schneider Electric aim to capitalise on existing relationships to commercialise emerging energy technologies
Return outlook While in the past, corporates may have invested in industrial portfolios, these have now been superseded by clean technology, with an eye to macro trends and long-term engagements. The evolution of the electricity grid is leading to a wealth of opportunities for investors and corporates alike, with the addition of computing and communications capabilities further supporting a developing, billion-dollar market. For Intel, the life span of its venture capital investments is a critical factor in forming its corporate investment strategy. The value of the clean technology sector is not just rising along marginal increments according to von Dewitz, and this is important when determining and investing in long-term opportunities. With trends evolving at a fast pace, corporate investors tend to focus on those companies that are able to develop new models and innovations that ‘augment the toolbox of a company’ and give it an edge, he says. ‘Venture is about risk, interesting links to core business and vice versa. You can only capture the market when you get toes wet, get your foot in the door, and reap strategic benefits that are novel and beyond the radar screen of corporation at the time.’ For corporate investors, complementing the general interests of its business as well as supporting technology innovation can be a win-win situation. ‘Some sub-trends may fade, but clean technology is a macro trend that is necessary, long-term and provides a solid framework. If navigated carefully, the sector offers little room for error,’ von Dewitz adds.
Cleantech IPOs increase despite deal slowdown With a lack of liquidity still threatening recovery across a host of global industries, deal-making in the clean energy sector experienced mixed fortunes in 2010, despite an upsurge in the number of IPOs on previous years.
eal activity in the clean energy sector in 2010 provided a frustrating blend of big-ticket deals and capital scarcity, according to data compiled by Zephyr and Bureau van Dijk exclusively for Envirotech & Clean Energy Investor. Compared to previous years, 2010 saw a lower number of deals, across all types, including acquisition, IPO, buy-out and joint ventures, with just 1,769 recorded for the year. While this was a four-year low in terms of frequency of deals, it was also the lowest in terms of deal value, which came in at around $76.83bn. However, a beleaguered IPO market provided some cause for optimism with $10.5bn raised through public offerings in 2010, almost double that for the previous year. Amy Morris, senior writer at Zephyr, says, ‘Overall, 2010 was not a strong year for deals targeting the cleantech industry and values failed to recover from the downturn in 2009. That said, there were bright spots; not least a near doubling in the value of announced and completed IPOs.’ With Enel Green Power’s listing topping the deal chart in terms of size, other notable transactions included the Norwegian government’s $2.37bn equity increase in state-owned electricity company Statkraft’s renewable energy division. At the higher end of the deal spectrum, Singapore agribusiness Wilmar acquired Sucrogen, the bioenergy unit of Australian manufacturer CSR
for $1.47bn. The deal characterised something of an emerging trend with established, global companies looking to widen their scope to encompass cleantech, through strategic acquisitions in established markets. In terms of private equity deals, London-based Terra Firma’s acquisition of Italian solar photovoltaic plant developer Rete Rinnovabile for $936m was the largest of its kind and signalled a jump-off for further investments from the firm. The maturation of investment opportunities in the clean energy space looks like it is beginning to attract the interest of buy-out firms, while regulation and subsidy environments are offering further support for the build-out of new renewable developments.
Boosted by IPO activity, deals with China-based targets accounted for the largest proportion of total deal value IPO growth
The total value of IPOs hit $10.52bn from the $5.42bn recorded in 2009, following a 75 per cent increase in volume to 56 IPOs from 32 in 2009. The gain was driven by a bulk of offerings in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland, as well as by the $3.67bn blockbuster from Italy’s Enel Green Power, which completed in November. The only other cleantech flotation worth more than $1bn was China-based Sinovel Wind Group, which raised $1.4bn on the back of the company’s 3.51GW of installed wind capacity. In the US, the largest listing was from another Chinese
Planned and executed IPOs in the global clean energy sector Deal monthly value (Announced date) 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 Total
Number of deals
Number of deals with known values
Aggregate deal value ($m)
56 32 45 71 64 39 307
40 22 27 57 49 35 230
10,519 5,420 20,357 13,516 6,897 2,620 59,330
Source: Zephyr and Bureau van Dijk
Clean Energy Deals Per Country Country target
United States China United Kingdom Canada Italy Germany Australia France Spain Republic of Korea
248 81 126 111 22 71 124 38 37 0
357 74 221 107 40 87 131 53 57 4
468 102 172 137 52 157 114 89 74 27
449 135 154 111 61 130 80 66 73 64
358 188 143 127 91 130 106 48 63 93
347 347 171 171 142 142 120 120 103 103 101 101 94 94 65 65 46 46 45 45
China United States Japan Italy Australia Norway Spain United Kingdom Canada France
1,565 10,521 162 542 3,230 4,639 3,005 3,300 817 1,889
1,185 18,744 232 1,658 4,972 1,711 4,586 8,906 1,589 3,107
5,796 22,318 114 3,016 4,768 2,031 15,441 9,584 3,182 6,729
10,525 21,389 241 2,215 1,724 298 8,409 6,722 2,084 16,232
23,576 9,025 838 3,073 2,014 3,335 3,591 2,146 6,152 1,107
12,838 12,838 12,567 12,567 10,526 10,526 6,620 6,620 4,484 4,484 4,380 4,380 3,008 3,008 2,882 2,882 2,346 2,346 1,742 1,742
Source: Zephyr and Bureau van Dijk
company, China Ming Yang Wind Power Group, which raised $255m from a 20 per cent offering on the New York Stock Exchange. In terms of home-grown success, US electric vehicle-maker Tesla raised $226m on NASDAQ back in June 2010, up from its initial $185m target. Morris says, ‘Positive developments in the cleantech IPO market came against a 24 per cent year-on-year decline in the value of all deals targeting the sector to $76.83bn – the lowest annual value recorded since 2006.’ However, the volume of all transactions with cleantech targets – including private equity, venture capital and development capital-backed deals, acquisitions, minority stakes and share offerings – fell by 14 per cent from 2,063 deals to 1,769.
Equity perspective While private equity, development capital and venture capital investment in the sector improved slightly year-on-year, this displayed only marginal improvement against more vigorous recovery in other sectors. Morris says, ‘A slower rate of decline in volume against value suggests lower valuations of cleantech companies in 2010 compared to 2009.’ She adds, ‘A nine per cent increase in value against a four per cent rise in volume is unimpressive given that the value of cross-sector global private equity deals surged by 46 per cent. At $9.90bn, 2010’s total value of private equity, development capital and venture capital-backed investments
Deal Value By Country/$m
in cleantech companies was 43 per cent lower than the high of $17.43bn recorded in 2008.’ Overall though, clean energy and related technology deal values peaked later than the general market – in 2008 rather than 2007 – and it could take another year for the recovery seen in cross-sector global private equity values in 2010 to show for this area in particular.
China growth Morris says, ‘Boosted by IPO activity, deals with China-based targets accounted for the largest proportion of total deal value, with $12.89bn recorded for transactions targeting the region. The US came a close second overall with $12.57bn, but emerged as the darling of private equity, development capital and venture capital investment cleantech investment.’ And while US-based clean technology companies received 42 per cent of 2010’s global private equity, development capital and venture capital investment deal value, China was not a popular target for financial buyers. Just $111m was recorded from 12 transactions – compared to $4.18bn from 119 deals for the US. This reflects the unique nature of the Chinese technology industry where investment is primarily in manufacturing from industrial groups and corporates, with R&D supported internally and through government programmes. And with a growing market for alternative energy generation and rapidly expanding manufacturing capacity, 2011 looks set to be another busy year for deal-making in the region.
US solar industry faces up to Asia challenge A challenging market for solar manufacturing in the US coupled with a lack of support for home-grown technology has seen China take a leadership position in recent years.
espite its success in incubating new and innovative technologies, the US is failing in its task to provide the necessary support to capitalise on these areas, particularly in the alternative energy and cleantech sector, according to J Bryan Ashley, chief marketing officer at US solar photovoltaic company Suniva. ‘In the US, we are leaders in driving the necessary R&D and innovation into the technology and the associated efficiency records, but as a country we have not done a very good job of scaling that technology and taking it towards meaningful manufacturing levels. This could be said of many industries and is certainly true within the solar sector.’ Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Suniva manufactures highefficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells and solar modules. It describes itself as the only high-efficiency silicon cell manufacturer in US, with over 18.2 per cent efficiency in current production, 90 per cent of which is exported to Europe and Asia. The company has raised $130m over three funding rounds from investors including venture capital firms New Enterprise Associates, Advanced Equities, Quercus Investments, Advanced Equities and HIG Ventures, as well as Goldman Sachs and Warburg Pincus.
‘There is certainly more we can do to challenge China in this sector, which has shown it is particularly serious about the solar PV industry from a national security, as well as from a business perspective. For various reasons, the US has not stepped up to it yet. Although the current administration has been trying hard, people I know at the cabinet level really do get it. ‘This will not happen overnight. Some of it has to do with the lack of a comprehensive energy policy. It is challenging, but there are those companies in the US that continue to manufacture in this sector. The future is bright. I feel the market in terms of demand for PV products in the field from a utility- and rooftop-scale will continue to be strong in the coming year, especially with incentives, provisions and grants to support them. ‘I think we will see more growth and I don’t believe there is any turning back, in terms of solar and renewable energy, and their continued scale-up in deployment.’
In the US, we are leaders in driving the necessary R&D and innovation into the technology and the associated efficiency records, but as a country we have not done a very good job of scaling that technology
How do you view the health of the US solar industry? ‘Looking at the state of the market from a manufacturing perspective, as well as a demand perspective, I think it is important to delineate the two. As a manufacturer of the only high-efficiency solar cells made in the US and one of only a handful of US-based companies manufacturing a cell of any kind, the environment remains challenging. However, we have already proved that manufacturing can be achieved successfully in the US, particularly if you have a differentiated product.
Industry Profile: J Bryan Ashley, Suniva
How challenging an environment is it for emerging solar and renewable energy companies in the US? ‘There has been relatively little support for renewable energy and solar manufacturers in the US. There has been some good support from the Export-Import Bank for our exports, as well as working capital, but other than that there are very few other advantages than some assorted minor incentives for manufacturers. There have been very few federal incentives to really develop this industry, unlike the Chinese model where
How do you view the fundraising environment for emerging technology companies? ‘It was the fact that we had differentiated technology that enabled us to attract investment when we were starting out. Suniva’s founder, Dr Ajeet Rohatgi, has a great reputation as a photovoltaic scientist. We are not talking about a wild, new high-risk technology; it is silicon photovoltaics, the most advanced of all the photovoltaic methods. There is a risk, but it is measured. ‘And we are not just after efficiency for efficiency’s sake. We could make cells to rival those world-record cells, but they would cost a great deal, and it is not realistic that the market will bear this cost. We aim to balance high efficiency with low cost, and this is what we wake up for every day – the real challenge.’ How do you perceive the relative markets for utility-scale and domestic solar installations? ‘From our perspective, and with our higher efficiency products, we get something of a price premium where space is an issue. For those people looking to get more power out of a
The Chinese government has shown it is serious about this sector, and they understand the need for new energy installations
US Commercial Secretary Gary Locke greets J Bryan Ashley on his visit to Suniva
the cost of capital is virtually nil for their industry. ‘The current Department of Energy loan guarantee programme is very flawed and the good people who are there now are trying their best to work with what they inherited, but just collapsing it all into a meaningful programme like a Green Bank or similar proposals like US Senator Jeff Bingaman has outlined is far better and more likely to succeed, and help the US national interest. ‘Suniva can compete and beat the Chinese in cell efficiency, we can surely beat them in terms of quality and we can compete with them in terms of actual cost of manufacturing, but where we cannot compete is in the cost of their capital, which is about zero! This is the biggest challenge. ‘To get ahead in the market, therefore, you really need to have a differentiated technology and an edge in terms of efficiency, and that’s what we have been able to do so far. This is why others may find it difficult to find success without the support of a meaningful incentive. ‘From the standpoint of deployment of solar in the US, the stimulus funding and the section 1603 Treasury Grant in lieu of tax credits have been meaningful and helpful, but will expire in 2011.’
given space, or a given amount of power in as small a space as possible, this is the answer. We supplied a 1MW installation at a stadium in India, which is the largest rooftop installation in Asia. Our modules are in small rooftop installations and all the way up to 5MW solar parks. We supply our products to all of the above, but I do feel we gain a premium and our sweet spot is in those situations where people are looking to maximise power in any given space.’ Do you see the growth of the Chinese renewable energy industry a threat or an opportunity? ‘The Chinese government has shown it is serious about this sector, and they understand the need for new energy installations. They have a massive demand for power which looks to triple by 2050. They cannot do all of this with unsustainable power generation and they do realise that the damage to the environment would be horrendous. They are also smart enough to realise that solar is a valuable asset, from an energy security perspective as well as from a power generation and a business perspective. ‘There are also considerable opportunities for manufacturing and export beyond the future China market. This is why they have invested so heavily and put the capital into their own domestic industry. ‘The Chinese market itself will be huge in the coming years and hopefully will be open to technologies beyond those that have been home-grown.’
Low-carbon transport reaches crossroads for fuel innovation While electric vehicles may be enjoying the spotlight, the push for low-carbon transport is stimulating a wealth of competing technologies seeking to gain an expanding share of the global automotive market.
ith transport constituting such a large proportion of global emissions around the globe, it has become a target area for reduction as well as a ripe opportunity for low-carbon investors seeking the next technology breakthroughs. And, while many are turning to the electric vehicle as the next-generation technology of choice for the automotive industry, there also needs to be a focus on making engines in conventional vehicles more efficient, according to Richard Pearson, senior technical specialist at Lotus Engineering. ‘I believe the biggest contribution over the short term to reduce CO2 emissions in vehicles will arise from increasing the efficiency of internal combustion engines,’ he says. Lotus Engineering is the global automotive consultancy division of Group Lotus, who design and develop engineering solutions for internal projects and third party clients. The two further operating divisions of Group Lotus are Lotus Motorsport and Lotus Cars. Based in the UK, Pearson says while he is supportive of the political agenda to reduce emissions and push forward technological innovation, he believes there are some areas in which legislation could better incentivise technical advancement. ‘At the moment the strategy of government seems to be to advance the adoption of electric vehicles,’ he says. ‘There is an alternative option where we transition to a mixture of renewable low-carbon, or carbon-neutral, fuels via a mixture of biofuels and fuels synthesised from renewable energy and re-cycled CO2. We must remember that the internal combustion engine is not inextricably tied to fossil fuels.’
‘The growth of global transport is primarily in non-OECD countries. The vehicles that will be bought in high volumes in those countries will be relatively low cost vehicles.’ Pearson’s reluctance to back electric cars wholeheartedly as the solution of choice for low carbon transport stems largely from the cost of the battery and, therefore, the inevitable cost of the cars that these are placed in. Despite the uptake for this sub-sector from a large proportion of investors, this fact has caused others to shy away 2 from the space. ‘The main barrier to the widespread introduction to electric vehicles is their high cost, caused mainly by the high costs of the batteries which they use.’ He points to Tesla’s undoubted success due to being specifically targeted at a niche market. ‘Tesla has put an expensive battery in a high-end car and therefore the price of the battery can be carried by the cost of the car. As such, its offering is well-placed in the market.’ He continues, ‘The cars which sell in the highest volumes are those at the lower end of the cost spectrum, even in Western markets.’ With the UK government pledging a £5,000 cash-back incentive scheme to those first mover purchasers of low carbon electric vehicles – to include models fresh on to the market such as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius Plug-in – whether these more cost conscious options lure the mass market audience is still a matter for debate. ‘It will be very interesting to see what the take-up of cars such as the Nissan Leaf will be in the private vehicle market,’ Pearson says. ‘To make a significant impact on transport CO2 emissions
I believe the biggest contribution over the short-term to reduce CO emissions in vehicles will arise from increasing the efficiency of internal combustion engines
Cost constraints He says the benefits of using low-carbon fuels for internal combustion engines will be even more pronounced in regions where there will be most rapid growth of vehicles, namely in nations with developing economies.
Industry Profile: Richard Pearson, Lotus Engineering
electric cars have to be capable of producing a low level of emissions at affordable purchase price levels. It is beyond doubt that an electric vehicle is more efficient on a tank-towheel basis than a conventional vehicle powered by internal combustion. ‘When the well-to-tank emissions are factored in to equation, in the UK there is currently little benefit of an electric vehicle over a conventional vehicle due to the present carbon intensity of the electricity being used. In the UK and particularly in countries like China and parts of the US where there is a high reliance on coal in the power generation sector, there are high levels of carbon emitted in to the atmosphere when producing electricity. Countries that have cleaner power generation fair better when considering the well-to-tank emissions.’
Alongside costs, there are consumer habits and public perceptions that will also need to be adapted for electric vehicles to make a strong impact on the mass market and attract investor interest further. He explains, ‘There is a potential issue with the viability of charging places being provided away from the home. Some studies have shown that electric vehicle owners feel that they need the security of being able to recharge away from their homes, however in reality they do most of their vehicle charging at home.’ Lotus recently teamed up with a consortium of automotive partners – including electric vehicle maker Think – alongside Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan to tackle the issue of range anxiety. The group has been awarded £9.5m by the UK government to aid research into this issue, and the consortium will look to develop components and systems that will expand and extend electric vehicle range. There are many levels to hybrid vehicles that range from an enhanced capacity starter motor to full parallel hybridisation, which can often muddy the idea of ‘hybrid’ in the minds of consumers. Pearson says there are often analogies made with the consumer electronics market but industry participants
While electric vehicles may be enjoying the spotlight, the push for low-carbon transport is stimulating a wealth of competing technologies seeking to gain an expanding share of the global automotive market
Richard Pearson, Lotus Engineering
should be wary of making these. ‘The mobile phone analogy in my view is not such a good one because when the mobile phone came long it gave us something we did not have – the ability to communicate while on the move. Electric vehicles with severely restricted range offer a more expensive product which does less.’
Worthy alternatives A second industry tie-up has seen it partner with clean technology developer Intelligent Energy in an alliance that will see it make a zero-emissions fuel cell hybrid London road taxi. The development of the Fuel Cell Black Cab, also involves taxi specialist LTI Vehicles and engineering business TRW Conekt. The taxi is to be powered by Intelligent Energy’s hydrogen fuel cell system and the pair is looking to have a fleet operating ahead of the London Olympics being held in the UK capital in 2012. Pearson is more positive about fuel cells and alternative fuels, but does issue a word of caution. ‘We have engineered fuel cell vehicles. Hydrogen is a good fuel once it is in an engine or in a fuel cell but carrying it on a vehicle is difficult and uses expensive storage systems.’ He adds, ‘In my view, the real stumbling block is the hydrogen distribution infrastructure. Storing and distributing the least dense element with the smallest molecule in the universe is very difficult and requires a completely new and inevitably expensive infrastructure.’
investor profile: fund of funds
Indian growth capital flows into applied technologies A focus on growth capital opportunities in Asia has translated into a mounting exposure to clean energy investments for private equity fund of funds Capvent.
Investor Profile: Fund of Funds Varun Sood, Capvent
s a private equity fund of funds focused on the global mid market, Capvent has found itself with a growing exposure to the clean energy space, as it emerges as a conspicuous sub-sector in the growth capital market. The firm manages and advises over $2.2bn in capital and has a particular focus on Asia, with an interest in the emergence of new, applied technologies across the region. According to Varun Sood, co-founder and managing partner at the firm, its lack of interest in leverage-driven buy-outs reflects the burgeoning opportunities within Asia, and in particular India. He explains, ‘When investing in India, the most dynamic market segment is growth capital and one of the biggest drivers of growth in these regions is energy. Many of these sectors are looking to leapfrog incumbent technologies, as we saw with the growth of the internet. ‘New, applied technologies are a real area of focus and governments are putting a lot of support behind the growth of these sectors, such as the National Solar Mission in India. This is something we are paying close attention to.’
And while opportunities may also be found in venture capital-style technology investments, this would also involve a heightened level of risk, which may prove unattractive to those already assuming a certain level through entering the emerging markets. In addition, from a technology standpoint, India is not well-known for its early-stage opportunities, and recent successes in telecoms and the internet have come from those areas where the technology is sufficiently deployable. China, in comparison, is seeing a rise in the development of home-grown innovation, where previously its strength was in manufacturing. From an investment perspective, though, access to these opportunities remains a challenge in a still-localised and often inpenetrable market.
While the growth of cleantech in Europe and the US is structured more in terms of early-stage and venture capital-style opportunities, in India, technologies tend to be more developed, reflecting the scarcity of capital in the region. Investments in Asian growth equity opportunities, cleantech or otherwise, must still satisfy the basic risk-return profile expected by the fund’s investors, Sood says. ‘Private equity is still relatively immature as a business model in Asia. The benchmarks are set by regular private equity returns, which need to be at least two times initial investment, and in the 25 to 35 per cent IRR range. We expect our investments in clean energy to be within this range. ‘We look to apply the same benchmarks as the rest of the private equity opportunities in Asia and see how they measure up,’ he adds.
In line with the firm’s investment strategy of targeting established companies, its interests within the renewables sector are on those technologies that have already in the process of breaking into the mainstream, such as wind and solar. These must also be sufficiently adaptable for growth within the region, according to Sood. ‘In the solar sector, this would include adapting existing technology to suit Asia, both in terms of climate and regulatory regime. India is one of the few regions that certain technologies can be applied, because of where the financing and incentives are available.’ In line with this favourable environment for new energy developments, the firm looks at the range of private equity investing models and structured deals in support of this area, from generation to manufacturing.
When investing in India, the most dynamic market segment is growth capital and one of the biggest drivers of growth in these regions is energy
investor profile: fund of funds
He adds, ‘Longer-term, annuity-type business models are of particular interest, such as those investing in infrastructure and project development. We are keen to participate across the full value chain.’ With its sheer scale, one of the biggest advantages for India is the size of the testing ground for renewable energy generation such as solar, Sood says. There are also considerable opportunities in grassroots technologies, such as decentralised energy generation. And with many of these applied technologies having a lower capital cost, roll-out is inherently easier. While this may seem unfamiliar to those used to the traditional model of capital-intensive, intellectual property-based technology, the Indian market offers a unique access point for new, user-friendly technologies. Sood says, ‘In India we see the two sides to the same opportunity, one is government and policy-driven, the other is personal consumption-driven. Personal consumption driven is never going to be high capital expenditure-type businesses, and government support is frequently for those technologies that do not require a great deal of investment to thrive.’
As a fund of funds, investment opportunities are as much defined by the markets on the ground as the availability of private equity funds through which they can access them, even if ultimately it is the success of the sector itself that drives returns. One advantage, according to Sood, is the range of opportunities that funds of funds are able to access, often early on in their life cycle. ‘With some high-profile government support and consumer interest, a considerable proportion of generalist investors are looking at energy-related technologies. However, a new crop of specialist funds are also appearing,’ he says. ‘We see a lot of funds in this market, but not many of them have developed specific expertise as yet. ‘With many applied technologies, practically any technology-focused fund investors is able to understand the sector and work within it. As a result we have seen some specialised funds, but they have not yet developed a sufficient edge over other, more generalist investors. We tend to focus on generalist funds that operate within a number of technology sectors.’ From the perspective of the Limited Partner (LP), appetite for growth remains strong, says Sood, with clean energy a significant subsector in Asia. And while LPs may recognise the growth prospects for clean energy as a whole, they are not yet necessarily making specific approaches within what remains an emerging investment theme. He says, ‘It is probably around ten per cent of the growth equity market in Asia, so there is no shortage of opportunities. It looks set to grow, alongside a host of other sectors, and there is a great need for liquidity across Asia to build private companies.’
Varun Sood, Capvent He adds, ‘In India, the biggest driver is going to be government spending. This support is vital, as in Asia there is not always the luxury of investment in new technology, as capital is scarce. Applied technologies are favoured because the opportunity is already present and the incentives are already in place.’ And with the low capital availability in the Indian marketplace, some companies will inevitably find it hard to adapt, particularly those coming from regions with high capital expenditure business models, Sood says. Local adaptation will be key to the success of many of these new entrants. In comparison, China’s development in this area is capitalintensive, with a greater availability of money at ground level for growth. He says, ‘They are more focused on innovation as they feel it is a growth driver for them in the future and which they hope to export. There are two ends of the spectrum here in Asia. One is China, where a lot of the funding for innovation is provided by the state, whereas in India the focus is on supporting and bringing low-cost technologies onto the grid.’ Across Asia, the capacity for growth within its energy sector will ensure that proven, effective technologies will see a swift take-up. And while China may currently be the source of much of the innovation, India’s sheer scale as a market makes it hard to ignore.
Longer-term, annuitytype business models are of particular interest, such as those investing in infrastructure and project development
investor profile: institutional investor
Global regulation vital to mobilise institutional capital
While the massive capital potential of institutional investors will be vital to meeting global renewables targets, this may not be forthcoming until there is greater certainty and consistency in regulatory environments.
Investor Profile: Institutional Investor Emma Hunt, Towers Watson
how institutional investors can best access this opportunity, whether through public and private equities or infrastructure. Hunt explains, ‘There are opportunities across the board, but for our particular client base, with their long-term outlook, renewable infrastructure appears to offer a particularly attractive proposition currently. Private equity-style infrastructure funds potentially offer a direct route into this clean energy development opportunity, taking advantage of favourable local regulation to build renewable energy facilities across Europe.
s an advisor to institutional investors such as pension funds, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds, the emergence of investment opportunities in the global clean energy sector presents an opportunity that cannot be overlooked, says, Emma Hunt, senior investment consultant at Towers Watson. Closely tied to sustainable themes which can include anything from climate change, to demographics and social issues, the sector has increasing relevance for investors of all kinds. It is these factors that have the potential to impact economies, according to Hunt, and are becoming increasingly compelling when looking at long-term investment strategies. With these drivers set to shape global economies going forward, they present both a risk and an opportunity for investors in the future.
There are opportunities across the board, but for our particular client base, with their long-term outlook, renewable infrastructure appears to offer a particularly attractive proposition
With an eye to potential risks surrounding sustainability, these issues are increasingly being incorporated into the manager research process, Hunt says. ‘We aim to assess the impact sustainability factors can have on both corporate and investment performance, and assess the capabilities of managers to incorporate these factors as part of their investment process.’ Within that, these themes are creating ‘discrete investment opportunities’ such as clean energy and associated technologies, she adds. ‘We proactively approach our clients with these opportunities. We have been monitoring climate change for at least five years now. We study climate policy and analyse how this is shaping the business landscape. The policy landscape, in particular, is changing to help support renewable energy and new technologies.’ And while investors are beginning to recognise that there are strong drivers within the renewable energy theme, when it comes to long-term investments, there is still a need to clarify
Europe currently offers the most attractive opportunities for investment, buoyed by supportive regulation and a tradition of technology innovation and development, Hunt says. ‘Currently we see strong propositions across Europe in the renewable energy area, reflecting the favourable policy environment. ‘Coupled with the supportive political environment, there are good technology hubs and increasing investment experience across the whole cleantech space.’ And while there is still uncertainty surrounding the prospects for the sector and its continued policy support, on the whole it is a reasonably well developed region in terms of investment opportunities, according to Hunt. While some institutions may already be committing capital to the clean energy sector, institutional capital will need to be mobilised on an ever-larger scale in order to meet some ambitious targets. And with many of these organisations not the most dynamic of investors, following a tough financial
Opportunities in renewable energy projects offer a long-term prospect that corresponds to the strategic outlook of institutional investors
period their appetite for risk and new markets has been constrained even further. Stable policy environments are vital to encourage further participation, Hunt says. ‘From an investor perspective, we still want to see stronger commitments from policy-makers. They are making a commitment, which is good, and their direction of travel remains fairly steady, but we want to see more certainty.’
Hunt points to the recent changes to policy environments in countries such as Spain as being damaging to investor confidence, and there is uncertainty surrounding the country’s position on the future of renewable energy and its impact on the economics underpinning renewable energy. ‘This is a shame as there is reasonable breadth and depth
We are very much looking for investment managers that seek to invest in real business, not just a share price
of renewable energy opportunities there. However, without a satisfactory framework in place, these opportunities may not be optimised. These types of changes in the political environment can have a profound impact on underlying projects like offshore wind farms and solar energy parks. That can be very destabilising for long-term investors.’ She also points to the need for a greater understanding of both the sector itself, as well as the underlying regulation and investment opportunities on offer. She says, ‘Renewable energy and energy economic are complex and technical areas, requiring good knowledge. For investors considering making an allocation into the renewable energy area, investors need to develop a good level of knowledge to be able to successfully enter the sector and take advantage of the opportunities it might provide. ‘There is a lot of education that needs to take place among the investor base before we see a wholesale entry into the sector,’ she adds. And while there are literally thousands of funds in the market, with varying fund strategies, the sector offers a genuine investment opportunity beyond the oscillating fortunes of listed markets. Hunt says, ‘We are very much looking for investment managers that seek to invest in real businesses, not just a share price. A large proportion of our research is on seeking funds that have long term investment horizons. And this long term outlook is entirely consistent with the sustainability theme which makes it a neat match.’
investor profile: institutional investor
investor profile: Banking
Cleantech lending dictated by fluctuating market conditions While the financial crisis changed the landscape for lending, a change in focus from long-term project finance to more easily achievable gains in demand management and energy storage could help to garner support for the sector.
or developers seeking project finance, particularly in the renewable energy sector, 2010 has been a challenging year. Still reeling from the financial crisis, many commercial banks remain unwilling to lend on the terms such projects require. Venture capital investors have also become keenly aware that the sector’s time horizons and capital requirements are far more exacting than the technology companies the venture industry grew up with. Increasingly, governments, or state-backed development banks, are often the only institutions willing and able to support industry growth. ‘In some respects, cleantech is more advanced in Europe than in the US, and has been for a number of years,’ says Oscar Jazdowski of California-based financial services and banking group Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). ‘But project financing is challenging on both sides of the Atlantic. Because of the financial disruption of the past few years, it’s very difficult to find long-term project financing capital.’
technology IPOs in 2011, which is good news for our venture capital friends, and will raise interest in the sector.’
Financing challenge A central problem for many companies is the long-term funding cleantech requires. Commercial banks typically make term loans of up to seven years maturity. Since the crisis, banks have shortened their time horizons even further, and few are willing to offer more than three or five year loans. ‘In the cleantech sector, especially in project financing where you are selling energy to utilities and looking at a ten-year payback, the time horizons are too long for a commercial bank today,’ says Jazdowski. Because many banks are so reluctant to lend, debt to equity ratios have fallen in clean energy as they have across the infrastructure sector as a whole. Debt has typically fallen from 60 per cent in the past to around 30 to 40 forty per cent today. Private equity funds involved in the sector in the UK and Europe are struggling to get even 50 per cent debt financing. ‘Project financing takes a special type of lender,’ Jazdowski says. ‘You need to have people like GE Capital, who would provide $50m to $60m for a particular plant or process. You need those players to come back into the marketplace, and that has not happened yet.’ As they come to appreciate the depth of these challenges, US venture capital firms have recalibrated their approach to cleantech. Many have begun to focus on companies manufacturing components and providing energy efficiency solutions, rather than those focused on the renewable energy side, Jazdowski says. ‘In the US about four years ago, there was a lot of interest
Even if the wind projects interest us from the point of view of energy creation, there are huge political hurdles
But in spite of a perception that the US is less driven by environmental concerns – and the country’s failure to enact any nationwide legislation on carbon emissions – US companies still have access to meaningful government support of a kind that many in Europe would envy. That may explain why companies like electric vehicle company Tesla Motors and lithium battery developer A123 Systems have felt strong enough to float on a volatile stock market. ‘The Department of Energy’s [DOE] support for companies is very significant in the US,’ says SVB’s Alex McCracken. ‘A lot of the IPOs in 2009 and 2010 were heavily backed by the DOE. Venture investors and corporate investors were prepared to fund those companies because they knew were being given significant support. Companies like Tesla and A123 would probably not have gone to IPO in Europe because there would have been a lack of government support.’ The trend is set to gather pace as the economy revives, McCracken says. ‘Going out on a limb, I think there is going to be a rise in
Investor Profile: Banking Oscar Jazdowski, Alex McCracken, Silicon Valley Bank
investor profile: banking
in cleantech and renewables, and a lot of venture capital firms rushed into that segment,’ he says. ‘But they have realised that a lot of the financing here is project-related, has a longer-term payback, and has a lot of regulatory implications – all things which traditional venture capitalists have never been involved in. They usually look for companies that can give them a payback in three to five years, with little regulatory involvement (except in the biotech space), so now a lot of US venture capitalists have realised the cleantech industry may not be what they thought it would be in terms of returns and time horizons.’ Nevertheless, financing is still available for some projects, often as a result of policy incentives. Financing models for the photovoltaic solar and onshore wind sectors are now more familiar to investors. Certain segments of the bioenergy sector have also seen rapid growth. ‘There has been an increase in waste-to-energy projects in the UK, which are becoming a lot more accepted due to an understanding of the project risks, take-off agreements,’ says McCracken. ‘But I think solar will continue to bound ahead in hotter countries rather than the UK, because of better economics.’ And wind power brings its own unique obstacles, with planning and site selection still offering a robust challenge. ‘The thing with wind is that it’s a hot political potato, on both sides of the Atlantic,’ Jazdowski points out. ‘In the northeastern US there is a lot of wind coming off the Atlantic, but it’s only now that the state of Massachusetts has approved a wind farm in the Nantucket Sound, and I can’t tell you the trouble that has caused. So even if the wind projects interest us from the point of view of energy creation, there are huge political hurdles.’
Shifting focus Even with project finance so scarce, the cleantech industry remains dynamic. But in the short-term the focus is shifting from power generation to consumption and storage, areas where major gains can be made without prohibitive capital investment. ‘Energy storage is one of the fundamental issues here,’ Jazdowski says. ‘It’s all very well creating energy but you have
to be able to store it and deliver it where and when you need it.’ Closely related to the question of storage are complex energy management issues, which are increasingly coming to the fore as a suitable access point for investors. ‘What we’ve seen happen in the IT management world is that’s it’s become much more sophisticated and much more targeted. There is huge potential to manage and control energy and energy release – managing lighting, managing back-up and standby supplies. I think we’ll see a lot of evolution in energy management technologies.’ ‘There will be energy monitors given away by utilities, eventually linked to smart meters. So the consumer will become more of a driving force in energy efficiency,’ adds McCracken. But if anything can put utility-scale renewable power back at the centre of the debate, it will be a rise in the price of fossil fuels. Ultimately, while the threat of climate change is a powerful argument in favour of renewable energy, it is economics that drives its adoption. Biofuels are the closest to offering a real substitute for oil. ‘The rise in oil prices makes biofuels more attractive,’ McCracken says. ‘There is exciting stuff coming out of algae developments.’ And in cleantech, as in every industry, those innovative developments are no longer confined to the Western world. ‘There is an obvious shift from West to East,’ says McCracken, ‘With the rise of big projects in Asia and Russia. There will be not just technological changes but geographical changes.’ McCracken is unequivocal on what banks look for in a potential borrower. Venture capital backing, existing relationships with customers, and sheer persistence all help inspire confidence, but it is the market which determines which companies will prosper, and which will die. ‘For companies pitching for funding – don’t just come and explain the technology, come with some traction and describe that. Talk about the market problems. What is missing in the market? Why is the market telling you that your thing is needed? People always come and push technology, but actually, they should come and talk about the market.’
A lot of US venture capitalists have realised the cleantech industry may not be what they thought it would be in terms of returns and time horizons
investor profile: state investor
Private capital shortfall set to hinder cleantech growth As a bilateral investment programme between the US and Israel, the BIRD Foundation aims to account for the shortfall of private funding available for R&D and commercialisation of emerging technology companies.
hile venture capital investment may continue to struggle in 2011, biofuel and energy efficiency technologies will maintain investment appeal this year, according to Dr Eitan Yudilevich, executive director of bilateral investment group Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation. Sourcing funding from the US Department of Energy and the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructure, renewable energy has formed an increasing part of BIRD Foundation’s investment focus, with the establishment of a BIRD Energy programme following the US Security and Energy Independence Act of 2007. Earlier this year, the programme supplied a $900,000 grant to Virent Energy Systems and Khosla Ventures-backed biomass technology developer HCL CleanTech. The grant, will finance nearly half of a $2.1m project to dovetail the companies’ technologies to produce fuel that is compatible with existing infrastructure.
model we invest in involves a less mature Israeli company partnering with a more developed US company, the structure can involve a smaller US company pairing with a larger Israeli company. We are expecting to have another round in 2011 expect a call for proposals in the next few months, with decisions due to be made in the third quarter of the year.’
There is a wealth of clean energy entrepreneurship and innovation in Israel, but there are delays in establishing the crucial frameworks and regulation to kick-start the market
Could you explain BIRD’s funding strategy? ‘BIRD funding reduces project risk, and repayment is only demanded if the project is successful, hence the finance provided is not a loan. The maximum repayment is 150 per cent of the original grant, repayed at a rate of around five per cent of sales. BIRD typically helps bilateral clean energy partnerships get started. ‘The BIRD Foundation focuses on companies as opposed to academic institutional partnerships and tends to focus on laterstage companies, but also invests in many young companies. We provide funding for up to 50 per cent of the total project cost, limited to $1m, and often act as a catalyst for partnerships between clean technology companies in the US and Israel. BIRD Foundation’s portfolio companies typically involve a partnership between a younger Israeli company with a more mature US company that has a footing in the market. ‘Our goal is to get to a product and although the typical
Investor Profile: State Investor Dr Eitan Yudilevich, BIRD Foundation
How will scarcity of capital affect clean energy companies this year? ‘ will be a critical year for young clean energy companies that were established in Israel between 2006 and 2009 and are now seeking follow-on funding to commercialise their products. ‘We saw a slow-down in global venture investment at the end of 2010 that may have a detrimental effect on the growth of clean technology companies that are seeking additional funding. When venture capitalists hesitate to continue investment, it presents a problem for early and mid-stage renewable energy companies. ‘We have seen the birth of many clean energy companies in the last few years and hope they will go through 2011 successfully. More than 100 were set up from 2007 to 2010, most of which will have an important year this year, as they look to conduct pilot projects and address the needs of customers.’ What role do you see regulation playing? ‘We want to see some of the regulations in Israel that deal with pilot projects be realised. I believe this will happen eventually, but many companies are struggling to start after several years of work as they are now looking for follow-on
investor profile: state investor
Could the gap in clean energy investment be plugged by private equity? ‘I’m not sure if we will see rise in private sector investment in clean energy this year as investments in young clean technology companies may be perceived as too risky, but it may be possible. ‘The trend of oil companies investing in younger biofuel companies is a rising trend that we may see being imitated elsewhere. We saw this when BIRD portfolio biofuel developer Virent recently raised a large amount of money from Shell. The Chinese markets may also affect the clean energy industry in Israel in 2011, as Chinese companies are often an opener to investments.’
funding. Investment programmes meant to help Israeli clean technology have been slow to start. ‘Market regulation is critical, because encouragement is needed from the government to initiate a low carbon market. Regulation has been set up in Europe successfully, in some places in the US and to some extent in Israel, but without it there is no incentive for people to buy renewable power. ‘We are concerned about clean technology markets in the US and Israel. There is a wealth of clean energy entrepreneurship and innovation in Israel, but there are delays in establishing the crucial frameworks and regulation to kick-start the market. The intentions are there, but the products have not yet entered production. ‘The US has also experienced some problems establishing regulation at the level of the federal government – biofuel companies in the US are waiting for biofuel regulation to be passed by Congress. ‘Land allocation in Israel presents a problem for renewable energy project developers, and arrangements with electric companies to buy feed-in renewable energy are difficult to come by. I believe a framework to facilitate a low carbon economy will happen, but the question remains as to when it will happen. ‘Wind turbine programmes have also been blocked in Israel because of a reluctance to transform natural reserves in desert areas such as the Negev desert. One solution is for Israeli companies to partner with non-domestic companies and perform demonstrations in other parts of the world.’
Eitan Yudilevich, BIRD Foundation reduce dependence on oil and encourage alternative fuels in Israel that looks soon to be established. ‘The Israeli government looks set to establish a long-term programme to encourage research into alternative fuels, which has been pursued by the Prime Minister. Although nothing will happen for a year or so, it will encourage entrepreneurs to come up with more ideas, with broad parameters inclusive of increasing the effectiveness of engines. ‘Although solar thermal is a great technology – and the only solar power to reach grid parity economically at same level as coal – there will not be a rise in investment in new solar thermal companies and I don’t think we will see new solar thermal companies being born. Hopefully, existing solar thermal companies such as BIRD portfolio company HelioFocus will be established enough to grow and attract private sector funding this year.’ ‘Post-2006, there has been a rise in investments and partnerships in the cleantech sector in Israel and elsewhere.’
The trend of oil companies investing in younger biofuel companies is a rising trend that we may see being imitated elsewhere
Which sub-sectors are popular among investors in Israel? ‘You find lots of building integrated photovoltaics, biofuel, algae and energy efficiency innovation in Israel, where there is a burst of entrepreneurship. Energy efficiency companies remain a priority for investors, as they feel the technology risk is lower. This has been the case for a while, but it is more focused now. ‘I think we will see more investment in biofuel in 2011 – depending on the fate of a national Israeli programme to
investor profile: Banking
Clean energy a core focus for lending banks Opportunities within an increasingly global market, coupled with the emergence of favourable regulatory environments, has seen lending to renewable energy projects come to be viewed as an integral business line for banks such as Société Générale.
ntil recently, renewable energy project financing may have been taken on by lenders on an opportunistic basis, however increased activity and supportive regulation has seen the sector develop into being a strong product line for French bank Société Générale, according to its global head of power Allan Baker. He says, ‘Clean energy has been an area of interest for us for around ten years. The industry has only really taken off in the past few years however, so historically our participation has been on a case-by-case basis and has involved everything from wind power in the US to hydro in Asia.’ The bank’s approach to renewables was formalised around four years ago, and saw it step up its activities in clean energy financing. ‘As part of our overall power strategy we made the decision to have a more formal focus on renewable energy. We recognised the significant developments that were occurring in the industry at the time.’ The bank is currently active in financing the wind sector in the US and the UK and also recently closed its first wind financing in Asia, with plans to further building its renewable energy business there. ‘The prime areas of focus looking forward are offshore wind in Europe, in particular the UK, Belgium – where the bank recently closed a C-Power deal – Germany and now potentially France. Onshore wind in France has been particularly active as the regulatory environment has improved a great deal over the last few years.’ He adds, ‘Historically, other target markets have been Italy and Spain [for wind and solar] where we have dedicated teams focused on the renewable business. However, recent changes to the Spanish and Italian regulatory environment have impacted investor confidence. Italian solar remains interesting and we have recently closed another financing in this sector.’
risk and the consistency of these environments around the world, according to Baker. ‘There is a feeling that these projects are uneconomic without the subsidy environment to support them although this clearly depends on how you view the cost of thermal generation,’ he says. ‘If you look at the onshore wind and solar thermal sectors, there has been a very long track record for financing these projects in a fairly standard manner, within established structures. This is quite easy for banks to deal with and set a precedent in the renewables space.’ There has also been a reasonably consistent deal flow of traditional power business, particularly in areas such as the Middle East. ‘Many banks seem to be happy to take advantage of more traditional opportunities and have not had to make the effort to understand the regulation or the renewables space as a whole. Maybe the increasing scale of renewable projects will encourage some of these banks to look more seriously at the renewable market.’ Concerns, or indeed a lack of understanding surrounding the technology risk attached to renewables projects offers another potential barrier to entry for many financing institutions. And while these cannot be ignored, an accurate assessment of the various technologies can ensure that this risk is correctly managed, Baker says. ‘The approach we take is to look at the technologies in advance before making a decision on lending or in some cases being approached by sponsors to form an initial view on which we believe to be financeable. We have a group of technological specialists within the bank who are dedicated to the power sector and act as internal technical consultants for assessment of different technologies across the power business.’ This technical analysis will often include site visits and in-depth studies of technologies from solar photovoltaics
A number of banks have struggled to come to terms with construction risk, environment risk and operating risk
Barriers to entry One of the issues that has potentially prevented a more wholesale participation from banks has been the understanding of the regulatory environment’s willingness to take regulatory
Investor Profile: Banking Allan Baker, Société Générale
investor profile: banking
and concentrated solar power technologies, to geothermal generation, and ensures the bank has a clear view of the technical issues to support its financing efforts.
Clubbing together For those that do choose to participate in financing renewable energy projects there has been a trend to close deals on a club basis rather than through more traditional bidding competitions, primarily due to issues surrounding liquidity.
There is the feeling that these projects are uneconomic without the subsidy environment to support them
Allan Baker, Société Générale And while this is the case across the lending industry as a whole, in the renewables sector the nature of the business is such that developers needing funds can turn to a small number of banks, as these projects have tended to be on the smaller side, Baker says. ‘This offers a cost-effective and straightforward process, but also helps retain that competitive tension. However, with the increasing size of transactions, particularly in the offshore wind and utility-scale solar sector, this model may have to be reassessed,’ he adds. Looking ahead, the environment for deal-making in the sector appears healthy, though to some extent this is dependent on the region. Baker says, ‘In the US there is still a strong deal flow. UK and Europe offshore in particular has been slightly stymied by the difficulty of closing some of these larger deals, with so many moving parts, but is still seen as a strong growth opportunity.’ The ongoing challenge for the financing of renewable energy projects and in particular areas such as offshore wind, is that the deal-making environment is still new and unfamiliar. Existing expertise in offshore financing could prove extremely valuable as the sector seeks to establish itself. ‘Offshore wind financing is very new and comes back to the issue of getting banks interested in the sector. We have a lot of understanding of the offshore environment as we do a lot of oil and gas and reserve-based lending so we have been able to lean heavily on the technical resource of those teams,’ Baker says. ‘A number of banks have struggled to come to terms with construction risk, environmental risk and operating risk. The financing process can still be slow as the projects become much larger and the industry tries to find a landing on certain risk allocation issues.’ With areas of interest for Société Générale ranging from hydro and geothermal in the Philippines, to wind and solar in the US, as well as renewable installations in India and China, the market for renewable financing is truly global in terms of its reach. Baker says, ‘The scale is growing considerably and is increasingly becoming a utility-scale business. We believe this all bodes well for the industry if government support remains solid and consistent.’
Like many other participants, the focus for Société Générale’s activities in the clean energy sector have followed the development of regulatory environments. And while certain regions previously did not offer an attractive environment, new regulation has the potential to transform the market for new renewable energy projects. Baker says, ‘As with any business we try to focus on countries and regions with the most supportive environment and consistent deal flow so the focus inevitably changes over time. Up until a few years ago we didn’t do much in France, simply because the way the industry was structured meant that these projects tended to be very small, and geographically dispersed. The change in regulation has made it more attractive with bigger projects and more consolidation. As we have developed around the world, this tends to be the common theme – slow start with a build up of both size and concentration of the business over time.’ With some major differences between regimes depending on the region, the bank is currently focused on offshore wind in the UK and Europe, mainly due to the size of the transactions on offer and the strong support for development of the sector. As with many participants in the global renewables space, the growth of renewable energy in Asia is proving hard to ignore, with both a huge potential for expansion and a supportive regime already in place. And while the growth of manufacturing in solar photovoltaic and wind technology in China offers a massive potential market, it is still at a nascent stage. Baker says, ‘We wanted to develop relationships with those companies that were going to be the future equity and equipment suppliers to the markets we would be operating in.’ The bank recently took its first step into the Chinese wind market by arranging a financing for listed renewable energy developer China Wind Power.
SOLAR: Deal news
Sungevity raises $15m for US expansion
Sungevity recently offered to put solar panels on the White House roof for the Obama administration
STR purchases manufacturing facility in US STR Holdings, which produces encapsulants for the solar photovoltaic module industry, has finalised the acquisition of a new factory in East Windsor, Connecticut, US. The company will move the majority of its US manufacturing to the new facility, which will also house product management and sales teams and a 20,000 sq ft research and development laboratory. STR says the new 275,000 sq ft building will enable it to expand its Connecticut manufacturing capacity to approximately 3GW in 2011. It plans to install 1.2GW of new production equipment in Connecticut during Q3 2011 and will stop manufacturing at its current facilities in the towns of Enfield and Somers, after moving its existing equipment into the new facility during the next nine to 12 months.
Oakland, California-based solar installer Sungevity has raised $15m in funding that will aid its national expansion. The Series C funding round was led by the company’s existing backers Greener Capital and Firelake Capital, along with new investor Brightpath Capital Partners, an Oakland-based impact investment fund. The total funding raised by Sungevity now exceeds $25m, which the company said will support its deployment of solar power to households over the next year. ‘Continued support from existing and new investors is a testament to the success of Sungevity’s unique and highly efficient internet business model,’ said Sungevity board member George Battle. ‘Broader resources will allow this company to serve an exploding market for solar leases, enabling more US homeowners to get the benefits of solar, without having to front the full cost of their systems.’ The rate of US solar installations is expected to double in 2011, and the market share of solar leasing and power purchase agreement providers is anticipated to increase, according to a new report by US consultancy IDC Energy Insights. Sungevity said that it increased the volume of solar power that it sold in 2010 by more than tenfold, as it rolled out a solar leasing system that allowed it to increase its share of the California market to 2.9 per cent. The company said it also expanded into new markets in Arizona and Colorado states. Sungevity founder Danny Kennedy said, ‘We’re now removing the last barriers to mass adoption of solar electricity across the US.’
Itochu, Abengoa Solar partner to own Spanish CSP plants Japanese trading and export business Itochu and project developer Abengoa Solar have partnered to own two 50MW concentrating solar power plants in Spain. Abengoa will operate and retain control of the project, with a 70 per cent stake in the two projects that together represent a total investment of more than €500m. The companies said that of this total amount, €340m has been raised through a project finance loan. Finance agreements have been concluded with commercial banks HSBC, SMBC, Mizuho and BTMU, with the Overseas United Loan Insurance programme support of the Nippon Export and Investment Agency. The two 50MW plants are expected to start their commercial operation in
2012 and sell power to the grid through the country’s feed-in tariff system. Both will deploy parabolic trough technology and are located in the Extremadura region in western Spain. Toshihito Tamba, executive vice president of Itochi, said his company has shown an aggressive entrance into the environment and new energy field. ‘We have built a competitively superior value chain in the solar energy field, by organically linking all areas such as upstream raw materials, midstream intermediary products, and downstream system integration and solar power generating plants. ‘This partnership with Abengoa Solar enables us to reinforce the value chain by participating in the concentrating solar power business on a global basis.’
SOLAR: DEAL news
Parity Solar will now have the resources to expand its global pipeline developments
Photovoltaic (PV) system solution developer Parity Solar has formed a joint venture with China National Buildings Material (CNBM), which said it will provide additional strength to its balance sheet. The companies will expand Parity’s existing module manufacturing facility in Zhenjiang, in the Chinese province of Jiangsu and will expand Parity’s global pipeline development
efforts by securing new projects in China, the Middle East, Africa and South America. Anne Wilde, marketing director at Parity Solar, said one of the issues in the solar sector from an investment perspective is ensuring bankability. ‘As a relatively new and growing company, we wanted to make sure we had strength behind us on the balance sheet,’ Wilde said.
Angeleno Group invests $9.7m in Verengo Solar Plus Los Angeles private equity firm Angeleno Group has invested $9.7m in US-based home solar provider Verengo Solar Plus. ‘The timing is right to take our business to the next level,’ said Verengo Solar Plus president Ken Button. ‘Angeleno Group has been a pre-eminent renewable energy investment firm for the past decade and we are excited about working with them. Verengo Solar Plus will use the financing to aid its expansion, after establishing a locally-oriented business model three years ago, according to the company’s CEO Randy Bishop. The company has increased its revenue by more than 70 per cent in the past year alone, and is now poised to extend its operations beyond southern California, it said. ‘Over the past three years, Verengo has established a track record of impressive sales and revenue growth,’ said Angeleno Group co-founder Zeb Rice.
Parity strengthens balance sheet through China JV
SOLAR: Deal news
K Road acquires 850MW Calico project
K Road Sun has acquired the Calico Solar Project near Barstow, California from Tessera Solar North America, after a power purchase agreement with Southern California Edison (SCE) fell through. The Calico project was approved by the California Energy Commission at the beginning of December and has an interconnection agreement to supply 850MW to the state’s power grid. But SCE unexpectedly withdrew its offer to buy power from the project in late December. Mike Marelli, head of Edison’s renewable energy contract group said as part of their procurement processes, not all of the previously listed projects will be developed. ‘We’ve terminated a number of contracts. It’s not a happy day, but it’s not totally unexpected when you’re trying to create a new industry.’ It is thought Tessera found itself unable to finance the project after SCE
K Road said it will stick to more mature PV technology for the bulk of the project
withdrew. The total capital investment required is estimated at $3bn. The company has also hit problems with its Imperial Valley project near the Mexican border. In December, a court ordered the development be put on hold, thanks to a challenge filed by the Quechan Indian tribe, who say they were not properly consulted about the impact
on burial areas and other significant sites. Tessera had planned for the entire Calico development to use concentrated solar technology developed by its parent company Stirling Energy Systems. K Road said it will stick to more mature photovoltaic technology for the bulk of the project, reducing financing risk.
Gores Group sells Vincotech to Mitsubishi Electric
LDK Solar acquires $33m majority stake in Solar Power
Los Angeles, US-based private equity firm The Gores Group has completed the sale of Vincotech Holdings to Mitsubishi Electric for an undisclosed sum, originally announced in November, after clearing regulatory hurdles. Vincotech, based in Germany, specialises in the development, manufacturing and distribution of power conditioners for solar power system applications, as well as power modules used in inverters for general industrial applications. The company expects to bring in €57.3m in revenue for 2010. Hightech giant Mitsubishi Electric said it hopes the acquisition will strengthen its power device business and complement its medium- and highpower device technology. The Gores Group will retain the company’s Shenzhen, China-based subsidiary, Vincotech Electronic Modules.
Chinese solar major LDK Solar has acquired a 70 per cent stake in US-based Solar Power (SPI), in a deal that signals vertical consolidation in the industry. SPI is involved in material sourcing and manufacturing, as well as installing solar panels in the US, including a large rooftop solar business. High-profile projects include Fox Studios in Los Angeles and a number of retail and warehouse rooftops. LDK has until now concentrated on the manufacturing end of the supply chain, producing wafers cheaply using low-cost Chinese labour and recycled polysilicon. It is a major player in the industry, with a market capitalisation of $1.4bn. ‘The transition in manufacturing is strategic, allowing SPI to focus on development and construction of large scale and utility scale US solar projects, while maintaining product quality and enhancing its competitive position,’ said a statement from LDK. ‘It strengthens SPI’s balance sheet, which will enable the acceleration of the development of its project pipeline, which primarily consists of utility-scale power plants, and commercial and industrial distributed generation systems. ‘SPI’s growing development portfolio and pipeline, in turn, should provide LDK Solar with enhanced downstream benefit to its vertical integration model through module supply for large scale projects.’ Under the deal, LDK will purchase some components of SPI’s manufacturing equipment and assume total manufacturing control of SPI’s former module manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China. SPI will maintain a separate logistical team at a new Shenzhen office to work on project development, design and related management functions.
Banco Espirito Santo makes €7m investment in Magpower
Orkla sells silicon business to China Nat Bluestar for $2bn
Banco Espírito Santo Group, through its venture capital fund Espírito Santo Ventures III, has made an investment of up to €7m in high concentration photovoltaic system developer Magpower – Soluções de Energia. Portugal-based Magpower said it has a clear focus on maximising the energy yield and containing the production, deployment, operations and also maintenance costs. The capital increase led by Espírito Santo Ventures, which will be completed in tranches until the first half of 2012, will reach up to €7m and enable the company to grow both its production and its commercial capacity. Joaquim Sérvulo Rodrigues, CEO of Espírito Santo Ventures, said, ‘In our investments, we look for technology-based projects that have the ambition to access the global market. ‘It is remarkable to find one of the few companies in the world developing HCPV systems here in Portugal, with the level of competitiveness that Magpower’s products offer, despite limited access to capital until now, compared to peers located in more capital-dynamic markets and therefore attracting many millions of investment dollars.’
Norwegian industrial conglomerate Orkla has sold its silicon subsidiary Elkem to state-controlled chemical and materials manufacturer China National Bluestar for $2bn. The figure was towards the lower end of analysts’ estimates for the value of Elkem, which has annual revenues of over $1bn. This transaction comprises the sale of Elkem Silicon Materials, Elkem Foundry Products, Elkem Carbon and Elkem Solar; leaving only energy unit Elkem Energi retained by Orkla. ‘China is, or will be, the biggest and highest growth market for silicon metal, foundry products, solar-grade silicon and other products offered by Elkem,’ said Helge Aasen, Elkem’s CEO. ‘With Bluestar as our new owner, we will achieve one of our main targets, namely a stronger presence in Asia in general and in China in particular. Elkem will also have the opportunity to take a leading role in the upgrading and further development of Bluestar’s silicon-related operations, especially in China.’
Trina Solar signs supply deal with GCL-Poly
SOLAR: Deal news
SCE signs PPAs for 800MW of solar Trina Solar will receive wafers and polysilicon to produce 7.5GW of modules
China’s fast-growing photovoltaic product developer Trina Solar has signed a long-term wafer and polysilicon supply agreement with GCL Poly Energy. The company, through its subsidiary Changzhou Trina Solar Energy, will receive wafers and polysilicon sufficient to produce about 7.5GW of modules over the next five years. The move is the company’s attempt to shore up its supply chain, as competition in the domestic solar market in China becomes ever more intense. Delivery of the equipment began in January and will continue through to December 2015.
Patrick Lu, vice president of supply chain management at Trina Sola said it is pleased to have strengthened its partnership with GCL-Poly through this supplemental agreement. ‘The agreement to secure a portion of the company’s wafer and polysilicon requirement from GCL-Poly continues to extend our advantage to support our long-term sales growth and market share expansion goals into 2011 and beyond.’ During the first few trading days of the year, Trina saw its share price rise 6.9 per cent, buoyed by the news that the module manufacturer would invest $800m over three years in a research facility in the Jiangsu province.
US utility Southern California Edison (SCE) has signed power purchase agreements with Fotowatio Renewable Ventures and SunPower for solar projects totalling more than 800MW. The contracts are expected to include one of the country’s largest single solar photovoltaic installations. Energy generated from the projects will total 831MW, with three projects with SunPower accounting for more than 700MW. Marc Ulrich, vice president at SCE, said this is an unprecedented time for solar photovoltaic. ‘We’re seeing growth in technological advances and manufacturing efficiencies that result in competitive prices for green, emission-free energy for our customers.’
SOLAR: deal news
Chinese investors take $240m stake in LDK subsidiary A group of China-based investment funds have taken a $240m stake in a subsidiary of photovoltaic products manufacturer LDK Solar. The China Development Bank Capital – a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Development Bank, Excel Rise Holdings and Prosper East, investment funds affiliated with China Construction Bank and an investment fund affiliated with another major Chinese bank – have all made an investment into the solar manufacturer. The deal sees the investors subscribe to an aggregate of $240m series A redeemable convertible preferred shares of LDK Silicon, equating to about 18 per cent of the company. Under terms of the agreement, LDK Solar will compensate the investors with cash if the subsidiary fails to achieve net income targets. But these rights will be waived if the polysilicon subsidiary carries out an initial public offering during 2011.
Emcore wins $10m NASA MMS solar panel contract
Emcore produces compound semi-conductor products for satellite and solar power markets
Semiconductor component maker Emcore has been contracted by NASA to manufacture, test and deliver solar panels for four spacecraft in a deal worth $10m. Emcore will supply 32 solar panels to power the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft. The panels be made at Emcore’s factory in Albuquerque, New Mexico and will have a sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency of close to 30 per cent, considerably higher than those used for terrestrial applications. Emcore also produced the panels for NASA’s Orbiter mission, which is currently studying the moon. The company produces a range of compound semiconductor-based products for the broadband, fibre optic, satellite and solar power markets. It is adapting its high-efficiency gallium arsenide solar cells for use in solar concentrator systems.
MPO raises €4m to step up French production Industrial photovoltaic (PV) cell developer MPO Energy has raised €4m from its parent company, European optic disc supplier MPO International and cleantech-focused investment fund manager Demeter Partners. The company said it will use the capital to continue constructing its first line of PV cells, including its high efficiency MPO Solo cell. The company said it plans to rapidly expand its production to an annual capacity of 100MW. MPO International began diversifying into solar PV production in 2009, running a research and development programme with a consortium of partners, including the French government-funded Technological Research Organisation. Through linking MPO with govern-
ment partners, the PV 20 project links French publicly-funded research with the industry. As part of this €24m project, the partners aim to install 5.4GW of renewable power capacity by 2020 in France. MPO International decided to launch a PV cell production line in 2010, following the partnership. It delivered its first solar cells from the line in October. MPO Energy president Loïc de Poix said, ‘With [Demeter Partners] support, we will look forward to continuing with the implementation of our innovative strategy in the field of solar cell production with its positive effects in term of environment, but also in term of industrial employment.’ MPO Energy has entered into the solar market at a hostile time for the industry, when France has put a mora-
torium on admitting new solar projects to its feed-in tariff regime. Through its investment, Demeter partners envisages a fruitful future for solar projects beyond the moratorium. Demeter Partners board president Olivier Dupont said, ‘The objections to the development of an industrial solar cell production activity in France are well known: a clear worldwide overcapacity, very low production costs from the Chinese producers and difficulties in the French industry. ‘However, we consider the PV industry as a young industry where the market is not frozen and where France can and should find its place on condition of being competitive. The French government has understood the important link between feed-in tariffs and the construction of a French PV industry.’
SOLAR: deal news
Capricorn Cleantech Fund (CCF) and Belgian investor LRM are to invest €20m in Ducatt, a Belgiumbased solar glass start-up. The company is being set up by two members of the management of Emgo, a joint venture between Philips Lighting and Osram which makes lightbulbs. Emgo said it expects to be squeezed as incandescent bulbs are phased out in Europe over the next year, leading to a search for other marketable glass products. Ducatt plans to convert a light bulb production line into a manufacturing facility for specialty glass for the photovoltaic industry, taking on 100 Emgo employees. Following the signing of agreements with Philips Lighting and Osram, CCF
and LRM have conditionally agreed to each invest €10m in the project, with other financial requirements being met with bank loans. ‘Through the foundation of Ducatt, we are realising an important cornerstone in the expansion of the solar industry in Limburg,’ said Stijn Bijnens, CEO of LRM. ‘Due to its special characteristics, sand from Limburg is already being used worldwide for the production of solar panel components, such as glass. And we should be able to attract more companies that are active higher up in the value chain.’ Capricorn Venture Partners manages venture capital funds seeking to invest in technology-based companies. Capricorn is currently investing its €112m Capricorn Cleantech Fund.
China Sunergy signs Ecoware supply deal Solar cell and module manufacturer China Sunergy has formed a framework agreement with a subsidiary of Italian photovoltaic (PV) integrator Kerself Group, that will see it supply 120MW of photovoltaic modules. The agreement will see the NASDAQ-listed Chinese company supply solar energy systems to Ecoware until the third quarter of 2011, which will be used for private and industrial use. China Sunergy said that the two solar module companies that it acquired in November – Shanghai-based CEEG Solar Science & Technology and sister Nanjing-based company CEEG New Energy – have already an estabStephen Zhifang Cai, CEO, lished supply partnership with Ecoware. China Sunergy ‘The signing of the agreement will further strengthen our successful co-operation and increase our share in the Italian PV market,’ said China Sunergy CEO Stephen Zhifang Cai. ‘So far this year, China Sunergy has entered into collectively over 600MW of PV module contracts for year 2011 delivery.’ China Sunergy manufactures solar cells with silicon wafers that use crystalline silicon solar cell technology, which it sells to Chinese and overseas module manufacturers and system integrators.
Neo Solar Power signs agreement with ET Solar Taiwan-based solar cell producer Neo Solar Power (NSP) has signed a 370MW agreement to supply Chinese firm ET Solar from the beginning of 2011 to end of 2013. ‘This three-year agreement will greatly intensify stability and reliability in the supply chain of ET Solar,’ said Dennis She, CEO of ET Solar. ET Solar already has strategic relationship’s with US-based GT Solar and Switzerland’s HCT. Based in Hsinchu, Taiwan, NSP plans to ramp up its annual capacity to more than 1.2GW in 2011. The company has recently signed silicon and wafer supply contracts with two South Korean companies, Osung LST and Hankook Silicon. It said it needed to shore up its supply chain after orders exceeded capacity. ET Solar is a downstream solar power product manufacturer and turnkey solution service provider. The Taizhou, Taiwan-based company has local sales and marketing subsidiaries, and offices in Asia, Europe and North America.
Capricorn backs Solar Belgian start-up Ducatt
Acta signs €2.45m deal for 9.5MW solar PV pipeline Clean energy products company Acta has announced it had formed a €2.45m contract with an Italian investment group to sell a portfolio of its Toscana photovoltaic (PV) authorisation pipeline. The company said the agreement is for 9.5MW of consent-only sales, which in total represents ten projects. Paolo Bert, CEO of Acta, said the contract was a significant milestone in the development and growth of its PV business. ‘The company has successfully completed the development and sale of authorisations during 2010, and plans to increase engineering, procurement and construction contract sales in 2011, which will support our already strong authorisation pipeline activity.’
SOLAR: COMPANy news
ContourGlobal, Guascor target Italian solar
Eltek Valere launches solar hybrid system
US-based ContourGlobal and Spain’s Guascor are to co-develop 30MW of solar projects in Italy after their first facility, a 6MW photovoltaic plant in Sabaudia just south of Rome, came online. Under the agreement, future solar facilities will be constructed by Guascor Solar, and owned and operated by ContourGlobal. After Sabaudia, the next project in the pipeline is an 8.5MW facility in Sicily that is expected to break ground in early 2011. ‘We expect this first experience in solar photovoltaic energy to be a promising starting point for future collaborations involving the complete portfolio of renewable energy and power systems that Grupo Guascor can offer,’ said Jon Azua, vice president and CEO of Grupo Guascor.
Energy efficiency technology developer Eltek Valere has launched a solar hybrid outdoor DC power system, specifically designed for the Indian telecom market. Much of India’s telecommunications infrastructure is located in remote areas where grid power is unreliable or unavailable. More than 300,000 diesel generators are currently used to power the industry. Eltek Valere’s system uses solar energy to supplement these generators. ‘Compared to traditional use of generators, we offer our customers an operational saving of up to 80 per cent on energy cost,’ said Krishna Pant, country manager for Eltek Valere in India. The system uses four to six solar panels connected to a converter, with an output of 48VDC (volts direct current) as required for the telecom equipment. A smart monitoring and control unit optimises battery performance, network management and diesel consumption on hybrid sites. Eltek Valere specialises in high-efficiency power solutions for telecom and industrial applications. The company also has a growing business in renewable markets, such as photovoltaic grid inverters and chargers for electric vehicles. The company was formed when the Norwegian telecoms infrastructure company Eltek bought US-based Valere Power in 2007.
Distributed solar set to increase in Australia More rooftop solar panels were installed in Australia in 2010 than in the whole of the industry’s previous history in the country, according to a recent report. There were 105,520 solar power systems installed in Australia from January to October 2010, compared to 81,232 installed from 2001 to 2009, according to the Clean Energy Australia Report 2010. But this comes against a backdrop of faltering commitment to larger-scale renewable projects. In total, 8.67 per cent of Australia’s total electricity was generated from renewable sources in 2010, although most of that came from hydro power. High rainfall in key catchment areas meant hydro projects generated significantly more power in 2010 than previous years. In addition, 63.4 per cent of Australia’s renewable power comes from hydro sources, while wind supplies 22.9 per cent and bioenergy (mainly co-production from sugar refineries) 11.5 per
The surge in rooftop solar panels is ‘an insurance policy against higher electricity bills’
cent. Solar provides just 2.1 per cent, in spite of the surge in rooftop installation. Marine and geothermal power are still at the early stages of development and contribute only marginal amounts to the country’s energy mix. According to the report, more than A$100bn ($99.7bn) needs to be spent to upgrade Australia’s existing electricity network, to cope with an anticipated 50 per cent growth in peak demand due to increased use of energy-intensive items like air conditioning and
flat screen televisions. For this reason, some households could see price increases of 40 per cent or more over the next three years, so the rush to rooftop solar is not just a green gesture but an insurance policy against higher electricity bills. ‘Governments of all levels have vastly underestimated the Australian public’s appetite for solar power over the past 18 months – and for the uptake of systems under a range of different incentives,’ the report said.
SOLAR: company news
Italy is forecast to install close to 1GW in PV systems in the fourth quarter
The Italian solar market is predicted to witness a doubling of installations in 2011, as global investment flows into the country, according to the latest research. US-based market research firm iSuppli said Italy’s photovoltaic (PV) market was going into overdrive as it entered the fourth quarter. It has forecast that the country will install just under 1GW – 975MW of photovoltaic systems in the fourth quarter, which is double that installed in the third quarter. Installations in the third financial period in 2010 equated to 487MW, which was already a big increase on the 239MW installed in the fourth quarter of 2009.
‘This fourth-quarter surge will cause installations in 2010 to rise to 1.9GW, up 100 per cent from 720 GW in 2009,’ it said in its latest report. This period of continuous growth of the Italian solar market now sets the stage for another doubling in 2011, with installations rising to 3.9GW. Dr Henning Wicht, senior director and principal analyst for PV systems at iSuppli, said, ‘The strong fourth-quarter growth represents a breakthrough for Italian PV installations, which until now had been limited to 300MW or less, with the expansion propelled by installers rushing to take advantage of an Italian government subsidy scheduled to expire soon.’
Xtreme Power, Xcel, SolarTAC look into utilityscale solar storage Energy storage provider Xtreme Power and US utility Xcel Energy plan to install a 1MW system to collect operational data on the integration of energy storage and solar energy systems at the Solar Technology Acceleration Centre (SolarTAC). The project aims to display the results of integrating storage systems with photovoltaic (PV) solar installations, to more efficiently incorporate energy output from renewable sources into the power grid. Results will be made public to reflect the system’s performance over the course of three years. ‘Taking part in the SolarTAC project with Xcel Energy affords us an opportunity to work alongside one of the most progressive utilities in the industry,’ said Carlos Coe, CEO of Xtreme Power. ‘We expect the results to highlight the broad range of benefits battery energy storage brings to PV manufacturers, project developers and power producers, ultimately enabling a more effective utilisation of clean energy around the world.’
Italy’s solar market hits unprecedented boom
Solar Power to build 5MW solar system in US Solar Power has been contracted to design, engineer and construct a 5MW rooftop system for installation on a warehouse in Carteret, New Jersey, owned by New York-based private equity firm KTR Capital Partners. NuGen Capital Management and KDC Solar, who have formed a joint venture to own and operate the system, selected Solar Power for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the project. In addition to performing as EPC contractor, Solar Power will also monitor and service the power plant once completed. ‘This installation will be one of the largest systems of its type in the nation,’ said Steve Kircher, chairman and CEO of Solar Power. ‘More importantly, the project allows us to continue to develop our presence and portfolio in the north-eastern US.’ The warehouse building serves as corporate offices of New
Jersey-based wholesaler White Rose Food, and as a hub in the company’s distribution network. The project is scheduled to begin in January 2011 and conclude early in the second half of the year. KDC Solar was originally a subsidiary of Kamine Development, which builds, owns and operates co-generation gas fired power plants in the eastern US. KDC Solar is supported by an allocation of $225m in equity from Diamond Castle Holdings, a New York-based private equity fund with more than $1.8bn of capital under management. Solar Power is a vertically integrated producer, manufacturing its own solar panels at a facility in Shenzhen in southern China, before installing them in the US. The company is about to complete a rooftop system for Fox Studios in California.
SOLAR: company News
Solar Millennium to provide parabolic trough collectors for two Spanish plants Germany-based Solar Millennium Group will provide the parabolic trough collector design for two solar thermal power plants in southern Spain. The first power plant is being built by the Spanish contractor Elecnor in the province of Extremadura, while the second, near Morón de la Frontera in Andalusia, is being built by Termosolar Moron in partnership with Acciona and is owned by Ibereólica Solar Morón. The collector space of the two plants will be approximately 366,000 and 380,000 square metres, respectively. Solar Millennium’s trough collector design has already been used in the first parabolic trough power plants in Europe, the Andasol plants in southern Spain, as well the Kuraymat power plant project in Egypt. Solar Millennium’s pioneer project Andasol 1, Europe’s first parabolic trough
juwi to build world’s third-largest solar rooftop project Project developer juwi, through a partnership with PV julist, is to construct the world’s third-largest rooftop solar power plant. The Goodyear Dunlop logistics centre site is located in Baden-Württemberg, Germany and the site will produce an output of 7.4MW of solar power. When complete, it is set to be the largest rooftop solar power plant in Germany with 95,500 solar modules, generating enough power to cover the energy requirements of a small town. Juliane Lindner, managing director of PV julist, said, ‘Every day, the sun provides approximately 170,000 terawatt hours of energy. That is approximately 2,850 times the energy required by people around the world. These incredible numbers demonstrate the sun’s potential. We are happy to be able to use this potential with the solar power plant in Philippsburg.’
Solar Millennium’s trough collector design has already been used in Spain and Egypt
power plant, has been connected to the grid since December 2008. Andasol 2 was completed in early summer 2009 and has since been connected to the grid.
Andasol 3 is scheduled to go into operation in 2011. Unlike the Andasol plants, the new projects will not contain storage facilities.
Sputnik establishes UK base to target solar market Swiss-based manufacturer Sputnik Engineering will open a UK branch, which a representative said was to target the country’s solar market. With a particular focus on the residential sector, which is currently supported by the UK government’s feed-in tariff implemented in April 2010, the solar inverter producer said it will now be able to respond with more flexibility to the growing photovoltaic (PV) market. The company said in a statement that the key representative for it in London going forward will be Neil Martin, an industry veteran in the account management field. Daniel Freudiger, general manager of Sputnik’s subsidiary Sputnik Engineering International, and head of sales and marketing at the company’s headquarters in Biel, Switzerland, said, ‘The British solar market is still in its early development and we are among its most important players.’ A separate spokesperson said the products it will supply to the market indicate the clear sectors it plans to target. It has previous experience in the single-family homes to farms, as well as in the industrial building sector. In November, Solarsense UK in Glastonbury, Somerset commissioned the UK’s largest privately held solar power plant to be fitted with SolarMax inverters. The company said the subsidy provided by the government to subsidise 5MW renewable energy projects has been key in attracting the company to establishing a dedicated base. ‘Since the introduction of the new remuneration rates in April 2010, the attractiveness of PV plants in the UK has grown enormously,’ Martin said.
Infigen, Suntech get approval for 100MW Australian project
China’s Sky Solar enters Brazilian photovoltaic market
Solar power project developers Infigen Energy and Suntech Australia have been given the go-ahead to construct a A$300m ($297m) installation in New South Wales. The local government has reportedly approved a plan to build a 100MW solar development, which will be the first constructed in the state. Approval has been given for a A$300m project The project will receive funding under the federal government’s Solar Flagships scheme, and will become an iconic development for the region. It is expected that 55 jobs will be created by the project, which underlines ruling Labor government’s commitment to renewable energy. In November, the companies filed documents with the Australian government to develop a number of solar farms in New South Wales. The Solar Flagships programme is part of the Australian government’s A$4.5bn Clean Energy Initiative, which was originally announced in the May 2009 budget. To accelerate the commercialisation of solar power in Australia, the government has committed A$1.5bn to support the construction and demonstration of up to four large-scale solar power plants in Australia, using both solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies.
China-based solar developer Sky Solar is leading the country’s push into the South American photovoltaic market through an agreement to construct a plant in Brazil. The plant is expected to be constructed with the next year through an agreement with Sobral city government. The area of land being dedicated for the project is 7.5 hectare and the overall output is predicted to be in the region on 3MW. It has been estimated that for each megawatt, there will be a ten million Brazilian real investment. Sky Solar has worked hard to gain a foothold in international markets and has now established over ten subsidiaries throughout Europe, Asia and North America.
Acciona becomes top global CSP developer Spanish renewable energy developer Acciona Energy now boasts the highest concentrated solar power (CSP) installed capacity in the world after connecting its 50MW Palma del Río II solar plant. In December, Acciona also signed an agreement with car park management company Comercial del Ferrocarril, under which it will install its electric vehicle charging networks in more than 60 railway car parks. Acciona now operates three CSP plants in Spain with an aggregate capacity of 214MW, and one in the US. With a world market share of 17 per cent, Acciona said the start-up of the latest CSP plant strengthens its position in Spain, which was the first country in the world to implement CSP with a 32MW installation. Spain recently approved a law guaranteeing regulatory stability for plants entered in the country’s register for pre-allocation of the ‘special regime’. The start-up of the latest €251m CSP plant also strengthens the company’s position in Spain, which was the first
SOLAR: company News
Acciona’s plants will generate around 232 million kWh of power each year
country in the world to implement CSP with a 32MW project. Acciona’s Palma del Río II is based in Cordoba province and is built adjacent to the Palma del Río I plant, which Acciona is in the process of building. To be operated in tandem, the two plants will generate around 232 million kWh of power each year, and are set to create around 700 jobs during their respective construction phases, together with an additional 60 permanent jobs in the op-
eration and maintenance of the plants. Both plants use parabolic trough technology, which uses aligned mirrors to heat fluids, to produce steam and drive a steam turbine. Acciona said it has made a total investment of around €1.2bn in five CSP plants in its history, including the 64MW Nevada Solar One plant in the US in 2007, followed by three plants since 2009, the fifth being the Palma del Río I that is due to come on stream in late 2011.
SOLAR: company News
Evergreen Solar to close Devens factory in US Massachusetts, US-based wafer manufacturer Evergreen Solar is to shut down operations at its Devens manufacturing facility within the next three months, in spite of record orders in the latest quarter. Evergreen said continued production at Devens, Massachusetts was ‘no longer economically feasible’, thanks to competition from low-cost Chinese manufacturers, as well as cuts to subsidies in Europe. The closure will affect 800 employees. But shipments for the fourth quarter of 2010 increased to 47MW, the highest figure the company has yet recorded, at an average selling price of $1.90 per watt. ‘While overall demand for solar may increase, we expect that significant capacity expansions in low cost manufacturing regions ... will likely result in continuing pressure on selling prices throughout 2011,’ said Michael ElHillow, Evergreen’s CEO and president.
Consortium develops Bulgaria’s largest solar PV project A group of renewable energy companies has launched the largest solar photovoltaic project in Bulgaria, which when complete, will be one of the largest installations in the European Union. The 45MW project is currently under construction, with around a ninth of the capacity already installed in the villages of Samovodene and Zlataritsa. The project will consist of two solar photovoltaic installations, each with similar power generating capacities. Its developers include California-based project integrator NEOptions, the Bulgarian Development Collaborative, and SDN, a South Korean producer of solar modules and marine propellers. ‘Large scale renewable energy development projects takes a great deal of work to put the right partnerships together to ensure the success,’ said NEOptions president Angelina Galiteva.
REC optimistic about the demand for solar in 2011 Norwegian solar manufacturer Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) has said it expects 2011 to be a good year for solar, despite worries that falling prices could harm suppliers. REC CEO Ole Enger said the fall might not be as big as feared, and said he expects REC to see strong demand in the first quarter of the year. The company’s share price rose over two per cent following the announcement in early January. Analysts can be sceptical of optimistic forecasts by companies, but Enger is notoriously cautious and his opinion carries weight with many in the investor community. REC’s share price rose two per cent following REC also benefited the announcement from news that Norwegian conglomerate Orkla will sell silicon subsidiary Elkem to China National Bluestar for $2bn. The deal relieves the pressure on Orkla to raise capital and makes it less likely the industrial giant will sell off its 40 per cent stake in REC. Based in Oslo, Norway, REC has silicon plants in the US, wafer production sites in Norway and a solar module facility in Singapore. Low-cost competition from China, in particular, has forced many solar manufacturers to look at ways to cut expenditure. US company Evergreen has just closed one of its manufacturing facilities.
Lincoln Renewable Energy gains approval for 10MW solar farm Lincoln Renewable Energy has received planning approval for a 10MW solar farm in Salem County, in the US state of New Jersey. The New Jersey Cedar Solar Farm site is the second area that the project developer has received approval to convert in recent months. The company said it plans to begin construction of the $60m project in early 2011 and will create about 100 construction jobs in the first six-month phase of its build. Declan Flanagan, CEO of Lincoln Renewable Energy, said, ‘We thank the planning board and the community of Mannington for recognising the benefits that solar farms can bring to rural communities. ‘However, we recognise that solar projects must be designed carefully to fit with the rural character of the communities where they’re located. We have worked closely with the community on the project’s design and will continue that close co-operation as we move toward construction.’ The site application was unanimously approved by the Mannington Township Planning Board.
SOLAR: company News
Concentrated solar power start-up Southwest Solar Technologies has opened an 18-acre (7.3 hectares) research park just south of the Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix, Arizona. The centre is designed to provide the company’s engineers and development partners with abundant sunlight, and field space to operate and evaluate new solar technology. The site is also within reach of the city’s universities and hi-tech industry. ‘The company is in discussions with other renewable energy businesses to co-locate at the park, to promote collaboration and make land available for testing or demonstration
projects,’ said CEO Brad Forst. Potential collaborators could include universities, private companies, and government-sponsored projects. Southwest Solar says the focal point of the facility, a 23 m concentrating solar dish, is visible to commuters as they cross the Salt River. The company, which was founded in 2008, is trying to develop a solar power system that combines a solar dish concentrator with an energy storage mechanism and back-up generators. This would allow it to produce continuous power, instead of the intermittent output of other solar systems.
Brightsource’s Ivanpah solar plant faces fresh challenge
Brightsource has bought a large area to be used for native rare species
One of California’s biggest planned solar energy projects by Brightsource Energy has run into difficulties after a not-for-profit conservation group filed a challenge against it in a district court. According to court documents obtained by Reuters, Western Watersheds Project has alleged that the 370MW Ivanpah solar energy plant has been given the go-ahead without full environmental reviews and asks for its permit to be withdrawn.
This is not the first project in California that has received legal challenges against the validity of its construction as Tessera Solar recently had its licence revoked after similar complaints. The most recent complaint by Western Watersheds Project alleges that the approval process did not fully take into account environmental factors such as the impact on threatened species in the area and migrating birds.
Solar Industry Round-Up Abu Dhabi’s clean energy company Masdar has reportedly dropped plans to develop a local solar manufacturing facility citing lack of demand. Solar panel manufacturers suffered in the latter months of 2010 as prices around the world began to drop. Solar Millennium has said it will use Skire’s project management software in the development of its Blythe power plant, which will be among the largest in the world when built. The multi-billion dollar project on the California-Arizona border will consist up to four 250MW parabolic trough solar power plants. It is so large, it will more than double the solar power capacity of the US, the company said. Japan-based Kyocera has agreed to supply about one million solar modules to provide 204MW for Thailand’s largest solar power project, being built by Solar Power. Under the deal, 6MW solar farms will be built at 34 sites in the rural north-east of Thailand.
Southwest Solar opens Arizona research centre
US-based solar distributer Petra Solar has continued its international expansion with the launch of a new research and development centre in Jordan, in collaboration with the country’s government. The new base in Amman in north-west Jordan resulted from talks held last year between Petra Solar founder Dr Shihab Kuran and King Abdullah II, Al Hussein of Jordan. It will help provide regional technology expertise geared to the needs of its partners in the Middle East, it said.
For daily breaking news, including deals, project developments, and all the latest industry updates in the global solar energy sector, go to www.NewEnergyWorldNetwork.com
wind: DEAL News
Dong awards €175m Anholt project foundations contract to MT Højgaard MT Højgaard, one of Denmark’s largest construction companies, has been awarded a €175m contract by domestic utility Dong Energy to manufacture and install offshore wind turbine foundations for the new Anholt wind project. To be cited between the Danish cities of Djursland and Anholt in the Kattegat waters, the project is expected to comprise of 111 wind turbines and generate 400MW of clean energy. When complete, it will become the biggest offshore wind farm in Denmark and is scheduled to supply electricity to the grid at the end of 2012, meeting four per cent of the country’s energy needs. Bente Østerbye, vice president, in MT Højgaard, said, ‘The project has a series of challenges, including the soil conditions and a very tight schedule, so the project is suited to our experience and gives us an opportunity to continue to develop our expertise in offshore foundations.’
Dong Energy will install turbine foundations for MT Hojgaard’s Anholt project
MT Højgaard said the civil engineering works will begin towards the end of 2011 and will involve a series of specialised vessels.
The company said the deal is expected to contribute positively to its earnings during the two years the project lasts.
HgCapital, Vindkraft sign 41MW wind farm deal Private equity firm HgCapital and renewable energy developer NV Nordisk Vindkraft have consolidated their leadership in the Swedish onshore wind sector by signing agreements for the sale, construction and financing of the 41MW Åmliden wind farm in Västerbotten County. The project was developed by Nordisk Vindkraft, a subsidiary of the RES Group, which will deploy V100 1.8MW Vestas wind turbines. Funds managed by HgCapital provided the equity for the project and arranged 17-year project financing
underwritten by Commerzbank. Arne Lorenzen, CEO of Nordisk Vindkraft said, ‘We are delighted to announce the sale of our Âmliden project to HgCapital. The Âmliden project is the sixth wind farm project that Nordisk Vindkraft has successfully developed in Sweden and we look forward to delivering more projects to the Swedish market in the future.’ The build of the project is due to start in early 2011 and the wind farm is expected to be fully operational before the close of 2012.
Weir acquires controlling stake in Spanish wind service business Engineering solutions business The Weir Group has acquired a majority shareholding in wind power maintenance specialist Ynfiniti Engineering Services (YES). YES is based in Madrid, Spain and provides operating and maintenance services to installed wind turbines. The company is projected to have sales of €10m in 2010, having recorded
gross assets of €4.8m at the close of 2009. Within its core customer group, it cites Gamesa, Vestas, Alstom and Suzlon as key participants. Igancio Esteve, managing director of YES, said, ‘Earlier this year, we started working alongside Weir on a wind farm project in Scotland. Joining forces with Weir will transform our ability to offer on-the-ground services in new markets
to leading turbine manufacturers. We are absolutely delighted at the opportunity this will offer our own employees.’ Although the value of the deal has not been made public, Weir said it has acquired 76 per cent of YES with the management team retaining the balance. Weir originally entered the wind power sector from its Scottish base in Alloa.
wind: DEAL news
Norges Bank Investment Management has acquired more than ten million shares in Vestas
A fund managed by the Central Bank of Norway has increased its shareholding in Denmark-based wind turbine manufacturer Vestas to 5.05 per cent. Norges Bank Investment Management, a $500bn fund, has upped the number of shares it holds in the turbine manufacturing giant to more than ten million. The move, which was made on 13 January, meant the fund had to disclose its actions as the shareholding went above the five per cent disclosure level. The privately-held company has gone from strength-to-strength since the start of 2011, winning a flurry of new orders.
REPower wins Saint-Laurent Énergies order REpower Systems has been awarded a contract by the Saint-Laurent Énergies (SLE) Consortium for the supply of 150 wind turbines. Together, the wind turbines will supply a power capacity of 300MW at the Lac Alfred wind farm project in the Canadian province of Québec. REpower has previously signed a framework agreement for up to 954MW for wind farm projects in Québec, with SLE co-owners EDF Energies Nouvelles and RES Canada in November 2009. Andreas Nauen, CEO of REpower Systems, said, ‘This is a milestone in REpower’s international business and the North American market, a market which is important for us. We want to carry out many more projects in Canada and this is a market in which we can make the most of the advantages of our technology.’
Norwegian fund increases stake in Denmark’s Vestas
wind: DEAL News
ABB receives $32m Brazilian wind power orders
Iberdrola acquires Mexican wind farm from Gamesa
Swiss engineering conglomerate ABB has received orders for transmission infrastructure worth $32m from Renova Energia in Brazil. The Zurich, Switzerland-based firm will design, engineer, supply, construct and commission five substations and associated equipment, as well as training operators and maintenance staff. ABB will also supply and install 60km of overhead transmission lines to connect a 290MW wind power plant to the electricity grid in the north-eastern state of Bahia. The project is scheduled for completion in 2012. Brazil has traditionally relied heavily on hydropower for its electricity supply and this project is part of the government’s efforts to promote wind as an integral part of its renewable energy portfolio. The Brazilian Wind Energy Association aims to install 10GW of wind energy by 2020. The country currently has around 600MW of wind capacity, with another 450MW under construction. ‘These substations will facilitate the integration and transmission of renewable wind energy to serve growing electricity needs in the region,’ said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s power systems division.
Spanish utility Iberdrola Renovables has strengthened its presence in Mexico through the purchase of a wind farm from turbine major Gamesa. The Bii Nee Stipa wind farm, located in the state of Oaxaca, has an installed capacity of 26MW. Iberdrola will deploy Gamesa G52 turbines throughout Iberdrola has leverits projects in Mexico aged its Spanish roots to become a leader in the renewable energy industry in the country and will maintain its relations with Gamesa by deploying its turbines at all projects in Mexico. The Bii Nee Stipa facility comprises 31 Gamesa-manufactured G52 wind turbines, each with the capacity to generate 850kW. Iberdrola is also building a further wind farm, La Vente III, also in Oaxaca, which will deploy 121 Gamesa turbines. Strengthening its foothold in Latin America has long been a key focus for Iberdrola. The company said its international strategy is targeted around countries with favourable legislation and that hold a great deal of potential in the renewable energy sector. Both the UK and the US are now the company’s priority markets, but Latin America is said to be an important element of its building on its growth in years to come. In addition to Mexico, the energy generator has a wind farm in Brazil with an installed capacity of 49MW. The company operates in 23 countries and at the close of the third quarter of 2010, had more than 12GW of installed capacity.
AMSC licenses Chinese firm to manufacture turbines American Superconductor (AMSC) has licensed several wind turbine designs to state-owned Beijing Jingcheng New Energy (JCNE). JCNE has been producing wind turbines since 2006 and now has a baseload operation capable of producing 2GW annually. Under the contract terms, AMSC has granted JCNE licences to manufacture, market and sell its 2MW, 3MW and 5MW wind turbine models from 2011 onwards. AMSC will receive upfront licence fees for the designs. JCNE also will purchase electrical control systems and core electrical components from AMSC for each of the turbines covered under these licences.
‘The Chinese wind energy market is expected to continue growing strongly over at least the next decade and remains a core focus for us,’ said AMSC founder and CEO Greg Yurek. ‘JCNE has generated early momentum in the wind industry, and we believe they are well-positioned to play a much more prominent role in the years ahead.’ The Chinese company was formed in August 2010 through a reorganisation of assets and personnel from the wind division and large electric motor division of Beijing Beizhong Steam Turbine Generator Co, itself a subsidiary of state-owned Beijing Jingcheng
Machinery Electric Holding. JCNE is the sixth Chinese company to be licensed to manufacture AMSC’s wind turbines. AMSC also is providing wind turbine designs, support services and power electronics and control systems to Sinovel Wind, CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Research Institute, Dongfang Turbine Co, XJ Group and Shenyang Blower Works. AMSC also has licensees in Korea, India, Taiwan, the Czech Republic and Turkey. The company’s main business is grid infrastructure, including superconducting wires and a range of smart components such as surge protectors and voltage stabilisation systems.
wind: deal news
Electric utility Westar Energy, which operates a service territory in Kansas in the US, has agreed to buy 201MW of electricity from NTR subsidiary Wind Capital Group, for an undisclosed price. The utility and the NTR wind business signed a power purchase agreement for energy from the planned Post Rock wind energy facility in Kansas’ Lincoln Counties. The facility will be the seventh utility-scale wind energy facility Wind Capital Group has developed and the second project under the company’s new business model to develop, own and operate wind projects. The company is due to begin construction on the project in 2011, with the aim of bringing it online in the second half of 2012. The first facility it completed under this model, the 150MW Lost Creek
wind project in Missouri, began operating earlier in 2010 ‘This is a significant milestone for Wind Capital Group. The US wind sector has experienced a slowdown in the pace of power purchase agreements being awarded of late, due to prevailing economic uncertainties,’ said NTR CEO Jim Barry. ‘However, through the development of strong relationships and a quality offering, Wind Capital Group has bucked the trend in securing this landmark contract – its first footprint outside the state of Missouri.’ The Post Rock project is anticipated to lead to further projects for Wind Capital Group in the US. Wind Capital Group CEO Tom Carnahan said, ‘For Wind Capital Group, it sets the stage for our continued growth into new markets across the country.’
NGenTec secures £2m to develop wind generator Offshore wind-focused power technology developer NGenTec, which provides engineering services for the power sector, has attracted £2m in investment that it hopes will enable it to deliver its generator technology to the large-scale offshore wind turbine market. Netherlands-based venture capital firm SET Venture Partners invested in the round equally alongside the Scottish Enterprise’s Scottish Co-investment Fund. NGenTec said the equity investment will allow it to prove its novel generator technology at a scale of 6MW, with the aim of delivering the product to the global wind market in 2012. NgenTec said it initially plans to design, build and test a 1MW generator that could be stacked along the shaft of a wind turbine to produce a larger generator, believing that its technology is more scalable than conventional models. NGenTec said it will use the financing to fund the design, manufacture and testing of its generator technology, designed to appeal to the multi-MW offshore wind industry. The investment follows a recent £800,000 grant the company secured from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Environmental Transformation Fund. NGenTec said its direct drive technology is up to 50 per cent lighter than existing generators, which translates into lower costs for the construction of offshore direct drive turbines. The company was formed in 2009 as a spin-out of the University of Edinburgh, aiming to become a leading UK supplier of generators and associated engineering services to the wind turbine industry.
Caithness secures $1.3bn federal loan guarantee The US government has agreed to provide a partial loan guarantee for a $1.3bn loan to support what will be the world’s largest wind farm, which is to sell all of its power and renewable energy credits to Southern California Edison (SCE). The loan from the Department of Energy (DOE) will finance the Caithness Shepherds Flat wind facility in eastern Oregon, which is sponsored by Caithness Energy and GE Energy Financial Services. With a capacity of 845MW, the Caithness wind farm is the largest energy project to receive a loan guarantee under the Financial Institution Partnership Program, the DOE said. The $1.3bn loan is funded by a group of 26 institutional investors and commercial banks led by Citi, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, RBS Securities and WestLB Securities. The wind farm will be the first in the US to deploy GE’s 2.5xl wind turbines, which have been used in Europe and Asia.
NTR wind business sells Post Rock power to Westar
GE, UnionBanCal acquire 150MW Alta Wind project General Electric’s (GE) investment arm GE Energy Financial Services has bought the first wind farm to operate in one of the largest wind projects in the US in partnership with Bankers Commercial, a unit of UnionBanCal. The partners have acquired the first 150MW wind farm in what will be the 3GW Alta Wind Energy Centre wind farm in Tehachapi, California, which they plan to lease back to the project’s operator Terra-Gen Power. ‘This transaction will allow Terra-Gen to free up capital and maintain operating control of Alta 1,’ said Terra-Gen CFO John O’Connor. Each partner will take an equal split in the project, which they said is eligible for a US Treasury grant, while Terra-Gen plans to use funds from the sale to pay back construction loans.
wind: Deal news
E.ON sells wind farms to private equitybacked Infinis Energy major E.ON has sold a 2.4MW wind farm in Wales and two large-scale wind farm assets in Yorkshire to UK-based renewable energy company Infinis, a Terra Firma company. The planned wind farms at each of the Yorkshire sites are permit-ready and due to be constructed over the next few years, Infinis said. The wind farm site in Tedder Hill is set to be the largest of the three wind projects with a slated capacity of 6.9MW, while the wind project at the site in Blackstone Edge is to reach a similar scale of 6.2MW. The Welsh Rheidol wind farm is the only project of the three to be operational. Infinis, which operates 138 onshore wind, landfill gas and hydro plants across the UK with a total generating capacity of 439MW, said it produces around ten per cent of the UK’s renewable power. Infinis’s parent Terra Firma also holds an interest in Italy-based solar company Rete Rinnovabile, and in US-based onshore wind company Everpower.
Western Wind closes funding for $300m Windstar project
Western Wind expects the Windstar project to be a ‘transformational asset’ for the company
Renewable energy producer Western Wind Energy is set to begin construction of a $300m wind power project after closing the relevant credit facilities. The Vancouver, Canada-based company expects to secure at least $70m in federal tax-free cash grant funds, based on the 120MW Windstar project. Half the proceeds from the project will also be eligible for tax depreciation, Western Wind’s CEO Jeffrey Ciachurski said in a release. Western Wind said it anticipates that the project will be a ‘transformational asset’ for the company. Western Wind is a vertically inte-
grated renewable energy electrical production company that owns more than 500 wind turbines with an aggregate rated power capacity of 34.5MW. It has also formed expanded power purchase agreements in California and Arizona states, for an additional 131MW of power capacity. Western Wind also owns additional solar and wind energy development assets in these states, as well as in Ontario, Canada and in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Western Wind owns and acquires land for the production of wind and solar electricity.
Vestas signs deal with EDF for Scottish wind farm Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has entered into an agreement with EDF Energy Renewables regarding a proposed project to be based in Scotland. Few details of the deal have been disclosed by Vestas, but it has been reported that the agreement is for 48 wind turbines to be installed at the Fallago Rig wind project with a total capacity of 144MW. EDF Energy Renewables is a joint venture between EDF Energy and EDF Energy Nouvelles. The company’s CEO, Christian Egal, recently revealed that the UK-based subsidiary of the French power distributor is targeting a delivery of 1GW before 2016. The company is likely to be affected by the changes to the UK’s Renewables Obligation (RO) subsidy mechanism that
Forty-eight wind turbines will be installed at the Fallago wind farm on the Scottish borders
the government announced in its energy reform in December 2010. Speaking in advance of the government’s statement, which said the RO certification scheme was to be phased out by 2017, Egal said the mechanism
had provided enough industry support. ‘The RO certification mechanism is the system we have to work with, and although it is not perfect, it certainly provides enough support to make projects affordable,’ Egal said.
wind: deals News
models will be deployed. The next stage of the Moray Together, they are Firth wind energy site, located expected to produce 22km off Scotland (known as between 1GW and 1.14GW Zone 1), has moved closer to realof offshore clean energy ity through an agreement reached to power 750,000 homes with UK leasing agency The when complete. Crown Estate. The spokesperson was Moray Offshore Renewables, unable to confirm any exact which will look to develop three time frames for the develoffshore wind turbine sites, is a opment of the project, but joint venture company owned project developer, Dan Finch, by EDP Renewables and said since Moray Offshore SeaEnergy Renewables. Renewables was established A spokesperson for Moray Offshore Renewables will look to develop three new sites almost a year ago, the company SeaEnergy Renewables said has made tremendous progress. Western Development Area, will the three sites awarded are an ‘I am delighted that after a year of deliver about 1.5GW of capacity extension of the original project hard work, we are now in a position when complete. developments rights given to Moray to sign agreements for lease with The The three sites will be named Offshore Renewables in January 2010. Crown Estate Commissioners, which after Scottish engineers Robert SteHe said the sites are all situated in the will eventually lead to long-term leases, venson, Edward MacColl and Thomas Eastern Development Area of Zone 1, and the construction and commissioning Telford, however no details have been the first of a two-phase development of the offshore wind farms,’ Finch said. released to date as to which turbine plan for the zone that together with the
US falls behind China for installed wind capacity
RES wins approval for Minnesota 300MW wind farm
China has now officially overtaken the US as the country with the most installed wind energy capacity, according to the latest figures. Wind energy in the US is now cost-competitive with natural gas, the most expensive of fossil fuels, but the Asian behemoth has asserted its leadership in the capacity stakes, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The industry had a bad 2010 in the US, with 5.12GW installed over the year – only just over half the record installations in 2009. But more than 5.6GW is already under construction, and AWEA predicts a return to growth in 2011. The association welcomed the return to growth but criticised the US government for failing to ensure continuity in its energy policies. ‘Wind power is a great deal right now in many areas of the country,’ said Denise Bode, CEO of AWEA. ‘However, our industry continues to endure a boom-bust cycle because of the lack of long-term, predictable federal policies, in contrast to the permanent entitlements that fossil fuels have enjoyed for 90 years or more.’ Construction was buoyed by a one-year extension of the investment tax credit for renewable energy, agreed as part of the compromise on tax and spending that was hammered out before Democrats lost control of Congress. Further projects are expected to start up in time for the new construction deadline for the tax credit, now set to expire at the end of 2011. It is likely to finish ahead of 2010 numbers, said Elizabeth Salerno, AWEA director of industry data and analysis.
Renewable Energy Systems America has won planning permission for the transmission lines and substations to carry power away from its Pleasant Valley wind farm in the US state of Minnesota, clearing the way for construction to begin. The 300MW project, consisting of between 130 and 207 turbines – depending on the model chosen – will cover 80 square miles (200 square km) of Dodge and Mower counties in southeast Minnesota. Two hundred landowners are affected, but the prospect of new jobs and tax credits for the area has kept local support strong. The town of Dexter in Mower County has already received about $24,000 in tax benefits – about 20 per cent of the town’s property taxes – from the 26 turbines already in the area.
Moray Firth offshore wind farm to be expanded under new lease rights
wind: company NEWS
Cape Wind gains approvals, seeks project finance
The Cape Wind project, set to be the first offshore park of its kind in the US, has completed its permitting process, marking an historic development in the country’s adoption of renewable energy. With all approvals needed now complete, the focus of the project developers will now be to secure project finance. The approval from the Environmental Protection Agency for the 468MW mega-project came just 24 hours after the US Army Corps of Engineers gave its thumbs up to the permit. Jim Gordon, president of Cape Wind, said the receipt of the project’s last permit approval represents a decade’s effort on the part of the company and state agencies that are striving to harness the abundant wind resources in the US. ‘American drive, competitiveness and ingenuity is entering the race with Europe and Asia for leadership in this burgeoning new global industry,’ Gordon said. In 2010, US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar gave the nod to the project and granted the first offshore wind project lease. The focus for Gordon and his team will now be to secure adequate project finance for this mammoth installation. The project will locate 130 offshore wind turbines on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound that will provide most of the electricity used on Cape Cod and the nearby islands, but with the dollar per megawatt tariff almost three times higher than on-land projects, the cost of the project is likely to be immense. It will, however, bring many jobs to the region, with more than 1,000 to be newly-created, Cape Wind estimates. In addition, last October, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick committed to the creation of a multipurpose Marine Commerce Terminal in the port of New Bedford. This will be the first facility in North America designed for the staging and assembly of offshore wind turbines and Cape Wind will be this facility’s first customer.
Suzlon to develop 218MW wind project in Brazil Suzlon’s Brazilian subsidiary has won an order from Martifer Renováveis to build, operate and maintain a 218MW project in the states of Ceará and Rio Grande do Norte. The full project will comprise of 104 of Suzlon’s 2.1MW wind turbines and will be commissioned in phases by June 2012. It will bring presence in Brazil to a cumulative total installation of 600MW. ‘At Suzlon we are very focused on emerging economies like Brazil, with their central role in the overall growth of the wind sector,’ said Tulsi Tanti, Suzlon’s founder, chairman and managing director. ‘This order is clear evidence of the strategy beginning to deliver. Brazil has very ambitious targets of reducing carbon emissions by nearly 40 per cent by 2020, and it is forecast that there will be 11.58GW of installed and operational wind power by 2020.’ Suzlon established its presence in Brazil in 2006. The company has now installed 183 turbines in 11 wind farm projects, with a total installed capacity of 383MW. It is the country’s top wind turbine supplier, with a market share of 42 per cent. It is based in India, also owns more than 90 per cent of project developer REpower Systems. Together, they are the world’s third largest wind turbine supplier.
Empire State Building to take up wind power with GME New York’s tallest skyscraper, the Empire State Building, has said it will turn to wind energy to offset its entire energy use by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from NRG Energy, paying the corporation to produce renewable energy in the same amount. The office building has signed a two-year contract with NRG subsidiary Green Mountain Energy (GME) to purchase nearly 55 million kWh of renewable energy each year. ‘As well as being the largest commercial consumer of green power in New York, the Empire State Building’s renewable power purchase is the largest purchase in our company’s 13-year history,’ said Paul Thomas, CEO of Green Mountain. This follows a $500m programme to reduce the building’s energy usage by 40 per cent, carried out over 2009 and 2010. Steps taken included replacement of all the building’s 6,500 windows to reduce heat loss, ventilation and insulation upgrades, and web-based smart systems for tenants to monitor their energy consumption.
Close to 55 million kWh will be purchased from Green Mountain
Siemens steps forward to save Skykon’s UK factory
Lake Erie project one step closer to full approval
Global engineering business Siemens has moved into the save the employees at bankrupt Skykon’s UK factory, a move welcomed by Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond. Skykon revealed in early January that both its UK and European operations had gone bust and CEO Jens Pedersen said he could not provide any guarantee the future for his staff. Ernst & Young, which has stepped in as administrator, has now agreed a deal with Siemens that will see production resume at Skykon’s Campbeltown facility. Salmond said, ‘We are very pleased with the developments Skykon’s UK factory will be saved by the announced today. The administratimely intervention of Siemens tors are to be congratulated on securing this breakthrough which enables the workforce to continue and which confirms backpay.’ He said the next task was to establish long-term investment to secure the future of the site. It has now been confirmed that all 130 employees are to return to work and the agreement sees Siemens provide short-term funding for an outstanding order of 30 wind turbine towers.
The first freshwater wind energy project in the US, Lake Erie, has moved one step closer to completion as it has received a lease option from Ohio, with support from outgoing Governor Ted Strickland. The project is due to be developed by Lake Erie Energy Development (LEEDCo), a group of three wind developers that have formed a special purpose vehicle to own and develop the project. The project is estimated at $100m and it has been reported that the five turbine project will deploy General Electric technology, about six miles off the coast near Cleveland. The Lake Erie project represents the second US offshore wind project to be announced following the Cape Wind project, which was given the final go-ahead in early January.
Xcel, enXco bring their 201MW Nobles County wind farm online Energy companies enXco and Xcel Energy have said the 201MW Nobles wind farm in south-west Minnesota is now fully operational and supplying energy to the grid. The project is located in Nobles County and comprises 134 General Electric turbines, which each have a generating capacity of 1.5MW. Judy Poferl, president and CEO of Xcel Energy company Northern States Power Company Minnesota, said, ‘Developing wind resources, abundant in the upper Midwest, will help meet our customers’ growing needs for electricity at a reasonable cost, while minimising impact on the environment.’ The project will supply power to 65,000 homes via the regional electricity grid. Xcel Energy and enXco, an EDF subsidiary, have worked on a number of joint developments including the 150MW Merricourt Wind Project in North Dakota. Steve Peluso, senior vice president of origination for enXco, said, ‘enXco is once again pleased to extend our experience and successful relationship with Xcel Energy, to bring the economic and renewable benefits from the Nobles Wind Project to their customers in the upper Midwest. ‘This project marks our sixth wind project to deliver electricity to Xcel Energy’s renewable energy portfolio.’
RES gets approval for Dunmaglass wind farm
wind: company news
Renewable energy power project developer RES has received approval from the Scottish government to build the 99MW Dunmaglass wind farm.The project site is located 25km south of Inverness and the wind farm will cost between £70m and £100m to construct. When complete, the project will comprise 33 turbines, and meet the electricity demand of 40,000 Scottish households. Allan Johnston, head of development for RES in Scotland said Dunmaglass was the ideal situation for a wind site due to the lack of landscape and ecological designations attached to it. ‘Dunmaglass has been in the planning system for six years and during that time RES has listened to local residents, consultees and stakeholders, taken their comments on board, and modified the proposal where possible to address the concerns raised,’ he said.
wind: COMPANy news
Chinese wind capacity at 16GW, now largest wind power producer
China now is now the world’s largest wind power producer, with the country’s capacity ballooning by 62 per cent in 2010. Its wind capacity rose to 16GW last year, putting it ahead of the US for the first time, according to a report in the state-run Xinhua News Agency. Li Junfeng, secretary general of the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association, said China’s installed capacity reached 41.8GW at the end of last year, compared to 40.2GW in the
North Sea wind grid issues to be examined by 2012 Despite there being no official consolidated opinion in the European Union over how a North Sea transmission grid to connect offshore wind farms should be developed, a number of issues have been set out that need to be examined by 2012 at the latest, a new report has show. The European Coordinator’s Third Annual Report set out the issues that were scheduled to be covered between governments at the close of December to discuss grid configuration and integration, and in particular the economic aspects of both these technological challenges. Also on the agenda were questions over market access and regulatory pre-requisites, as well as planning and authorisation issues. The issue of how Europe should work together to for an offshore electricity grid – similar to the underground network of pipes that transport oil from fields back to the mainland – to encourage the growth of the wind industry, began in earnest in 2008. Extensive talks at that time between the Belgian government and the EU co-ordinator recommended that the North Sea littoral countries agree on a joint approach on major commercial and political issues.
US. China has set an even more ambitious target of 90GW by 2015. Much off this, however, remains off-grid. The China Electricity Council said only 22.9GW was grid-connected in August last year, although there have been additional installations since then. Many Chinese wind farms have been underutilised thanks to the challenges of grid connection. The intermittent power produced by wind turbines needs to be normalised at specially-built substations before it can be fed into the network.
Chinese companies lead the world in solar manufacturing, but most solar modules are destined for export, with relatively little capacity in the country itself. China’s domestic wind industry, by contrast, is growing rapidly. A number of further large-scale projects are in the pipeline, including the 5GW Jiuquan project in Gansu province, the 2GW Hami project in Xinjiang, a 2GW project at Kailu in Inner Mongolia and the 1.5GW Tongyu project in Jilin province.
Dong sends clean energy from Walney to UK grid
The Walney offshore wind farms will generate 367.2MW of power for Cumbria
Danish utility has Dong Energy has started to sending electricity to the UK’s national grid from the Walney 1 offshore wind farm, off the coast of Cumbria. The project is not yet at full capacity and will eventually comprise 51 turbines, but the development marks a milestone in the £1bn project. Together, Walney 1 and 2 will generate 367.2MW of power from the farms, located about 15km from the coast. The development takes place around the same time Dong announced its intention to issue new callable subordinated capital securities. ‘Dong Energy is very pleased with the positive reception investors have shown to this transaction. The hybrid issue further strengthens our already solid capital
structure,’ Carsten Krogsgaard Thomsen, CFO at Dong Energy said. Construction of the wind farm began in March 2010 and all turbines have now been installed. The second phase of the project – which will also comprise 51 turbines – is due to comment construction over the coming months and be operational by the end of 2011. ‘The UK has a very ambitious plan for expanding the production of renewable energy and a target of making green energy and reliability of supply go hand in hand, and we are pleased to be able to contribute to the expansion of renewable energy, Niels BerghHansen, executive vice president of Dong Energy.
wind: COMPANy news
The Greater Gabbard development runs parallel to SSE’s Walney wind farm
One of the UK’s biggest offshore wind farm, the Greater Gabbard project, has sent electricity back to the UK grid for the first time. The development comes almost in parallel with Walney wind farm going live, underpinning a new stage in the country’s use of offshore wind energy. Utility Southern and Scottish Energy (SSE) owns a 50 per cent in the project, which is being developed alongside the UK subsidiary of RWE Innogy. Colin Hood, COO of SSE, said
that this marks a major milestone in the development of both wind power plants. ‘As the UK’s leading generator of electricity from renewable sources, SSE is committed to helping to increase further the amount of renewable electricity generation in the UK, and the export of electricity at Walney and Greater Gabbard is a step towards achieving this,’ Hood said. Despite power being sent to the grid, construction of the project is not expected to be complete until 2012.
SSE, Siemens consortium to aid wind supply chain Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has inked an alliance with Siemens and a group of transmission and manufacturing companies to support a programme to lower the cost of bringing power from offshore wind projects back to the mainland. SSE has teamed up with Siemens, its affiliate Siemens Transmission and Distribution, Subsea 7, Burntisland Fabrications and Atkins on the offshore wind project.Following the agreement, they will work together to agree on formal commercial arrangements for the alliance ahead of the project design. The grouping builds on an agreement SSE formed with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe last year to co-operate on the development of the next generation of offshore wind turbines.
Wind Industry Round-Up Wind turbine manufacturer Nordic Windpower has announced its plans to relocate its operations to Missouri, US. The wind turbine developer said that it is able to move forward with its plans to relocate its headquarters and operations from California and Idaho to Kansas City, as a result of a state incentive package. It is set to receive a $5.6m incentive package that has been authorised by the Missouri administration, which includes a community development grant and tax exemptions for equipment and machinery purchases. Energy developer Technip, which worked with Statoil on the Hywind floating wind turbine in Norway, is launching the Vertiwind project to test a pre-industrial prototype of a vertical-axis offshore floating wind turbine. Floating wind start-up Nénuphar, power conversion engineers Converteam and EDF Energies Nouvelles, the renewables division of French utility EDF, are also involved in the project.
Greater Gabbard wind farm supplies electricity to UK grid
The Google-backed Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) group is set to file its proposal to build a transmission project to connect offshore wind farms in the Atlantic Ocean to the shore for federal approval. A spokesperson for the transmission project told Reuters that the group is poised to submit its project proposal for the Altantic backbone transmission project. AWC said earlier in the year that the filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will outline details of the project, including the benefits it would bring to businesses in the region.
For daily breaking news, including deals, project developments, and all the latest industry updates in the global wind energy sector, go to www.NewEnergyWorldNetwork.com
Bioenergy: deal news
New Earth Solutions wins bid to enter Scottish bio market
itself up to maximise its recycling rates sights for some time to come. Waste treatment and renewable energy and push the Zero Waste Plan forward,’ ‘The build of the new facility will be specialist New Earth Solutions has Surbuts said. been selected as the preferred With strong tidal and wind bidder for a major contract in resources, Scotland is at the Scotland, which it said will be forefront of Europe’s renewable key to developing its presence in energy push. the region. Latest figures show clean The deal for its waste manageenergy now accounts for more ment services has been won from than a quarter of Scotland’s the Scottish Borders Council electricity demand and the country and represents the company’s has the potential to be an all refirst venture into Scotland. It newable energy country by 2030. will see the development of a The new waste treatment plant residual waste treatment facility, New Earth’s biological treatment technology will process 45,000 will cover about 65,000 tonnes as well as the processing of mixed tonnes of waste at the planned Easter Langlee site of waste a year, of which 45,000 dry recyclables and composting of tonnes will be treated using New Earth’s key to our presence in the region and green waste. mechanical biological treatment techwe would look to engage with other Rachel Surbuts, communications and nology in a new facility at the Council’s councils as they progress their procuremarketing manager from New Earth Easter Langlee site in Galashiels. ment processes, and as Scotland gears Solutions, said the region will be in its
Greenleaf Power set to acquire third biomass facility
Hawaii utility signs first contract for local biofuels
Private equity-backed biomass company Greenleaf Power has formed an agreement to buy the Colmac Energy biomass facility, which represents its third biomass acquisition this year. As one of the largest biomass facilities in California, the 47MW Colmac facility, in which American Consumer Industries is the majority shareholder, sells its electrical output to power utility Southern California Edison under a long-term agreement. The facility, which has operated since 1992, is fuelled primarily using clean diverted wood waste and agricultural residues. The transaction, the value of which has not been disclosed, is expected to close after it receives the required regulatory approvals. In 2010, Greenleaf bought the 30MW Honey Lake biomass in Wendel, California, as well as acquiring a 28MW biomass plant in the town of Scotia in California.
Hawaiian Electric (HE) has signed a contract for a local company, Aina Koa Pono (AKP), to provide locally-grown and processed biofuel for electricity generation in Hawaii. AKP will grow sorghum and eucalyptus on what are now fallow sugarcane fields in the Ka’u area of Hawaii Island, to supply biofuel to the Keahole power plant. The company has developed a technique to convert plant matter into liquid fuel using microwaves, which it said is more efficient than any alternative process. AKP will provide 14 million gallons of fuel per year in 2014, increasing to 16 million gallons per year in 2015 for a total of 20 years – enough to provide around a sixth of the island’s power needs. The price HE will pay for the fuel, which has not been disclosed, is fixed over the term of the contract with annual escalations. This is the first contract awarded as a result of HE’s April 2010 call for locally- grown and processed biofuels, that can be used in its power plants on Hawaii Island, Oahu and in Maui. The state has set an ambitious goal of obtaining 70 per cent of electricity and transportation energy from renewable sources by 2030. Hawaii Island itself already obtains more than 30 per cent of its energy from renewable sources. HE hopes eventually to add solar, wind, waste-to-energy, biomass, geothermal and marine energy capacity to its portfolio. The company has said it wants to send a signal to local farmers and other landowners that it is keen to find local sources for its biofuel needs. It argues that, being transportable, liquid biofuels are among the most flexible energy sources for the islands.
China, Scotland sign waste-to-energy deal
Venture firms give €5.3m backing to Fermentalg
Li Keqiang, the top official tipped as China’s next Prime Minister, began a four-day visit to the UK in January with the announcement of a £6.4m licensing deal between Scottish and Sino-Scottish companies on clean energy development. Waste-to-energy technology developed by Scottish company W2E Engineering will be licensed to Sino-Scottish firm Shanghai Huanuan Boiler and Vessel Cochran (SHBV Cochran) under the agreement. Research and development, engineering and project management will take place at W2E’s existing plant at Annan in Dumfriesshire, while manufacturing will happen at the company’s new facility in China. W2E, which specialises in generating electricity from domestic refuse by gasification, said it plans to provide SHBV Cochran with a minimum of $60m of business per year for the next ten years. Meanwhile in Scotland, Li was also treated to a demonstration of a wave power device developed by local ocean power company Pelamis Wave Power. ‘China is committed to work with other countries for a solution to the global challenge of energy and resources,’ Li wrote in an article for the Financial Times, published to coincide with his visit to the UK. ‘In the coming five years, China will vigorously develop the green economy and low-carbon technologies to bring down significantly energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product.’
French cleantech start-up Fermentalg has raised €5.3m in venture capital funding to allow the company to advance its microalgae technology. Pierre Calleja, CEO of Fermantalg, said new investors Demeter Partners and ACE Management joined the round, which also included previous backers. ACE Management is a private capital investment firm in France that has close links to the country’s military. Calleja said the recent injection of cash, which was the businesses second investment round, will allow it to move towards industrialisation of its microalgae technology. ‘The capital will be enough for the next two years, but we also want to build a factory within the next year or so, and for this we will need more funds. As such, we are looking at forming a joint venture with one of our partners to build this facility. The company uses a novel technology that transforms waste products into sugar in order to grow the algae.
Pine tree biofuel project awarded $14.6m by NIFA The US National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has made a $14.6m award to the University of CaliforniaDavis for a project researching the potential of conifers as biofuels. A team led by Dr David Neale will sequence the genomes of three coniferous trees: the loblolly pine, the sugar pine and the Douglas fir. Pine genomes are extremely large, ten times the size of the human genome. Knowing the genome sequence of these species will accelerate breeding efforts and could enhance their uses as feedstocks for biofuels. It is also hoped that fast-growing varieties of loblolly pine and other agroforestry crops will contribute to carbon sequestration and help to mitigate the effects of climate change. Researchers from UC Davis will be joined by the Children’s Hospital of Oakland Research Institute, Washington State University, Texas A&M University, Indiana University and the University of Maryland.
bioenergy: deal news
UK-Cuba venture invests in Havana biomass plant
Access to the genome sequence of pines will accelerate breeding efforts and enhance their use as feedstocks for biofuels
A UK-Cuba joint venture has been formed to establish a biomass power plant adjacent to a sugar mill near the capital Havana, in a strategic partnership that could reportedly see investment reach $250m. Guernsey-based Havana Energy has teamed up with Zerus, which is linked to Cuba’s Ministry of Sugar, to develop a pilot 30MW power plant at the Ciro Redondo Sugar Mill. It is hoped the power plant could act as a test bed for a further four projects further down the line. At present, Cuba generates seven per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources and the government has expressed its desire to increase this, while simultaneously reducing its dependence on fossil fuels.
Bioenergy: deal news
UK’s first green energy park nears construction The UK’s first sustainable energy park is a step closer to being built following a £450m engineering, procurement and construction deal that its developer, Peterborough Renewable Energy, has signed with Malaysian manufacturing giant KNM Group Berhad. The subsidiary of Green Energy Parks is set to construct the 80MW project in the UK city of Peterborough, which will produce power and remanufactured elements from waste. The products the company hopes to create from waste biomass include elements to produce glass, building blocks and even metals. The KNM Group, which now operates 19 manufacturing facilities and engineering centres in 12 countries, will also take on the operations contract for the energy park. Green Energy Parks intends the Peterborough park to be the first in a nationwide network of green energy plants that are designed to change the country’s handling of mixed waste.
4Energy Invest secures KBC Bank credit facility Amel Bio has secured an additional €300,000 working capital facility from Belgium bank KBC to fund biomass production at its third torrefaction plant in the Belgian municipality of Amel. The funding was negotiated by its parent, Belgium-based renewable energy company 4Energy Invest, in a series of contractual credit changes that it agreed with KBC. The start of redemption of the lease facility structured for the Amel III plant will also be postponed until late June under the agreements, the company said. 4Energy Invest also secured a waiver from the bank for the breach of its wholly-owned subsidiary Renogen relating to its agreed debt service coverage in 2010. The changes include a softening of the covenants of Renogen for 2011 and beyond, the company said.
Royal DSM agrees to €829m Martek Biosciences takeover Netherlands-based life sciences and material sciences company Royal DSM has entered into an agreement to acquire US algae developer and biotechnology company Martek Biosciences for €829m in an all-cash transaction. DSM is hoping to channel the growth of the company’s nutritional infrastructure beyond Martek’s US stronghold through the acquisition, and is planning to lead the microbial sector with new expanded capabilities. Martek’s algal biotechnology platform and robust algal technology pipeline are particularly expected to deliver new industrial growth opportunities for the combined business. DSM has pitched a tender offer price of $31.50 for each of Martek’s shares, representing a 35 per cent premium to Martek’s closing share price of $23.36. The offer also represents a 39 per cent premium to the average closing price of Martek’s common stock. With the tender process due to close in February, Martek told its investors in a release that it expects the acquisition to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2011, followed by a merger. The takeover, which has secured approval from DSM’s supervisory board and recommendation from Martek’s board, would be the first major acquisition by DSM since it transformed into a life sciences company. On closing, it is expected add up to €0.20 to DSM’s ordinary share value on a full-year basis. Prior to the agreement, the two companies already had a long-standing relationship, as DSM supplies Martek with base material for some of its products and has complementary intellectual property on the range of patents Martek owns.
Valero to expand biofuel offerings with $50m Mascoma investment Independent US oil refiner Valero Energy has inked a $50m non-binding investment into Mascoma that could see it expand its biofuel offerings at the pump. The oil company signed a letter of intent with bioethanol producer Mascoma to support a wood-based biorefinery by fronting up to a seventh of the reported total project equity. If the investment goes ahead, the agreement would see Valero enter into an off-take commitment for the project’s ethanol production. The agreement follows Valero’s sale of the Paulsboro oil refinery and divestment of its interest in the Cameron Highway Oil Pipeline in the final quarter of 2010. The Fortune 500 oil major already owns ten ethanol plants with a combined production capacity of around 1.1 billion gallons each year, along with a 50MW wind plant. The agreement of intent was signed with Mascoma subsidiary Frontier Renewable Resources, for the plant in
Kinross, Michigan through special venture company Frontier Kinross. The companies expect construction of the project to break ground this year in Kinross Charter Township. Valero’s participation in the project strengthens the financing package for the Kinross biorefinery, complemented with government funds. Michigan’s local government will provide federal and state funds for the project through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Valero also intends to provide project development and construction oversight services for the project, according to a statement from Mascoma. The biorefinery plans to have an annual production of 40 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol, to be covered by the off-take arrangement with Valero. It will use selectively harvested hardwood pulpwood as feedstock, which is an abundant resource in the Kinross area.
bioenergy: deal news
Elevance Renewable Sciences, which produces specialty chemicals for the fuel market from renewable feedstocks, has raised $100m to fund its growth in Asia and American markets. The Illinois, US-based company said it plans to open biorefineries in Asia, as well as North and Latin America. The Series C funding round was led by Luxembourg-based private equity group Naxos Capital Partners. Investors in the round included the venture capital arm of French power company Total, as well as return backer TPG through its capital and growth arms. Elevance was formed in 2007 with more than $40m in capital and
technology invested by TPG, Cargin and Materia. Elevance CEO K’Lynne Johnson said, ‘This round of financing supports our company’s continued growth and innovation in making quality, high-performing renewable chemicals available on a world scale basis.’ The company’s major developments in 2010 include a joint venture with Wilmar International to build the world’s largest biorefinery, in Indonesia. Its strategic partners include Cargill, Dow Corning, Trent University, Tetramer Technologies, United Soybean Board and SaskCanola.
Danish Growth Fund injects €2m in biomass company TK Energi Denmark’s state-owned Growth Fund (Vækstfonden) has invested DKK15m (€2m) in Denmark-based biomass and synthetic gas company TK Energi. TK Energi said it will use the funding to support global sales of its biomass waste and coal-processing technology. The company said it is looking to strengthen its international position in the development, production and sale of technology for pre-treating biomass waste. ‘We supply technology and equipment to markets and customers, which is essentially independent of EU grants and other public subsidies. We believe that this gives the healthiest and least vulnerable business in the long run,’ said TK Energi CEO and founder Thomas Koch.
Lincoln Park Capital inks $10m investment in biofuel developer BlueFire Renewables Chicago-based asset manager Lincoln Park Capital has inked a share purchase agreement that is to see it invest nearly $10m in renewable fuel producer BlueFire Renewables. The fuel producer said the funding will enable it to shore up its shortterm cash needs and continue to pursue financing opportunities on its projects. Lincoln Park Capital has also committed to invest up to $9.85m in
BlueFire’s stock in the next two to three years. It has also made an initial cash injection of $150,000 in BlueFire under an agreed price of $0.35 per share, along with warrants to buy additional shares at an increased price of $0.55 per share. The investor is obligated to make the purchases when the registration statement becomes effective, but the agreement may be discontinued at any time at the instruction of BlueFire.
Atlantic Power pays $77m for Cadillac Renewable Energy Independent listed power producer Atlantic Power has closed the previouslyannounced acquisition of Cadillac Renewable Energy, a 39.6MW biomass facility in Michigan, US. The power company bought the facility for $77m, which was funded by $34m in cash and $42m in project-level debt that amortises over the term of the project’s power purchase agreement. Atlantic Power said the acquisition of the project, which routes power to Consumers Energy Company under a long-term power purchase agreement that is capped in 2028, will be immediately accretive to cash flow. The company said it expects to receive annual distributions on the project ranging from $3.5m to $4.5m, as of 2011. Atlantic Power’s majority-owned affiliate Rollcast Energy will manage operations and maintenance on the project. Atlantic Power’s development portfolio consists of interests in 12 power generation projects across nine US states.
Elevance Renewable Sciences raises $100m for expansion
Green Plains sets sights on Minnesota ethanol plant The fourth-largest ethanol producer in the US, Green Plains Renewable Energy, has signed an agreement to buy a dry mill ethanol plant in Minnesota, US from Otter Tail Enterprises. The transaction is expected to proceed via a bankruptcy proceeding initiated by Otter Tail, if approved, but would necessarily go to auction with no guarantee that Green Plains would be the winning bidder. The proposed acquisition of the 55 million gallon per year plant would boost Green Plains’ ethanol production capacity by around eight per cent to an annual rate of 712 million gallons, the company said. The deal represents one tooth of Green Plains’ growth strategy of acquiring operating assets to expand its ethanol platform and sweeten its financial results, according to the company’s CEO Todd Becker.
Bioenergy: company news
Metso continues push into clean power with biomass project order
Finnish energy project developer Metso will supply a biomass power plant for combined heat and power production to Oü Helme Energia in Estonia. The order for the plant, which is due to be delivered by its joint venture firm established with power major Wärtsilä, is vauled in the region of €15m. Start-up of the plant is expected for the third quarter of 2012 and will build on the company’s clean power footprint, which senior vice president at the company Risto Lehtimäk recently described as a win-win sector.
Metso’s plant will produce 6.4MW of electricity
‘You are doing a favour for the environment and is good for business too,’ Lehtimäki said. The plant will produce 15MW of heat
and 6.4MW of electricity, which will be partly used in Oü Helme Energia’s pellet factory, with the remainder being fed into the country’s grid. Oü Helme Energia is a subsidiary of AS Graanul Invest, which is a private capital-based company dealing with bioenergy and renewable energy production. In September, engineering business Metso was awarded an additional contract to convert a coal boiler to a biomass model for Dalkia in Poland, which is also set to supply green energy to the national power grid.
Maverick Biofuels to develop US pilot refinery
IndianOil, LanzaTech to jointly explore biofuels technology
Second-generation biofuel producer Maverick Biofuels is collaborating with engineering service provider Professional Project Services (PPS) to develop front-end engineering designs for a new pilot scale biorefinery in North Carolina, US. Maverick, which plans to build a biorefinery that will produce mixedalcohol biofuels from biomass and municipal solid waste, is raising its first round of financing to build the pilot project. Scheduled to be completed in 2011, with fuel production slated in the following 18 months, the pilot-scale biorefinery will act as the next step towards designing and constructing a large-scale commercial facility. With 85 per cent of the energy of gasoline, Maverick’s mixed-alcohol biofuel offers an appealing replacement for ethanol in fuel blends, and is able to eliminate the use of gasoline in flexible-fuel vehicles. The two companies will design and integrate engineering for both the pilot and commercial plants.
New Zealand-based LanzaTech is to collaborate with petroleum giant IndianOil on a demonstration to evaluate whether its fermentation technology is suitable to produce fuel-grade ethanol. ‘LanzaTech’s technology is likely to support our efforts to diversify fuel sources by harnessing fuel grade ethanol from waste gas stream,’ said New Zealand-based LanzaTech ‘We are determined to explore sustainable options in biofuels and the ethanol blending efforts will have to be supplemented by technology solutions, as well.’ The companies said the collaboration, which will take place at one of IndianOil’s refineries, will examine techno-economic and feasibility issues. ‘Our goal is to show that there will be improved profitability and an overall reduction of the carbon footprint in IndianOil refineries,’ said Jennifer Holmgren, chief executive of LanzaTech.
UK launches anaerobic digestion consultation The UK government has launched a consultation in December on aspects of the country’s anaerobic digestion industry in the hope of removing some barriers to its development, the Environmental Agency said. Speaking at the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association’s annual conference in London in December, Howard Leberman, senior advisor for
industry regulation at the Environment Agency, said, ‘We are about to launch a consultation on limiting issues such as the distances from conservation sites and dwellings to anaerobic digestion plants.’ He said to make the approval process for installations clearer going forward, there will be a move towards trying to encourage developers to apply for standard permits.
bioenergy: company news
Biofuels producer Abengoa Bioenergy, has restarted operations at its bioethanol plan at Portales in the US state of New Mexico. The plant is designed to produce up to 30 million gallons per year of fuel ethanol, produced mainly from sorghum grown on the plains of west Texas and eastern New Mexico. Javier Salgado, president and CEO of Abengoa Bioenergy, said that the Portales plant became viable again due to more favourable market conditions, supported by an increasing demand scenario. Recent legislative and administrative actions supporting the industry and expanding ethanol blend levels are also expected to have a positive impact. Salgado also stated that the restart of the facility was assisted by strong support from New Mexico’s political leadership, including New Mexico’s United States Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall. New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman welcomed the reopening of Abengoa Bioenergy’s Portales facility. He said, ‘The resumption of operations and the hiring of 40 new employees for this facility will bring a tremendous economic benefit to the Portales and Roosevelt County areas.’ ‘Not only does this bring new jobs back to the area, but the benefits from local grain purchases and feed sales – as well as the additional contributions to the area’s tax base – will be dramatic as they filter through the local economy.’ Abengoa operates ethanol production facilities with a capacity of 840 million gallons per year in the US, Europe, and Brazil. While most of its production comes from conventional feedstocks, it is also researching the possibilities of cellulosic ethanol.
Envac to build waste-to-energy system for London development UK business Envac has been selected to supply an automated underground vacuum waste system at London’s 30 acre (12 hectare) Surrey Canal development. A partnership with a neighbouring Lewisham power plant will also see the system feed waste directly into the plant, in order to generate energy for the area. The move forms part of Lewisham’s wider regeneration strategy. The borough is aiming to reach recycling rates above 40 per cent, and to cut carbon emissions from refuse vehicles by up to 90 per cent. ‘The development is creating a blueprint for modern day regeneration, so it is essential that we work with partners who demonstrate innovation and a commitment to creating sustainable communities,’ said Mark Taylor, director of development at specialist property company Renewal Group.
Envac’s vacuum waste system will generate energy for the borough of Lewisham
US puts three-year moratorium on biomass permitting requirements The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has put a three-year moratorium on permit requirements for biomass energy production to leave scope for the ever-changing scientific landscape. The government department has granted the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) petition to reconsider the treatment of biomass carbon emissions under two of its legal banners. Under the EPA’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration requirement, new major sources of pollution must undergo air quality and also impact analyses. The EPA’s Tailoring Rule also defines thresholds for greenhouse gas emissions that make tailored additions to permit programmes. The EPA also said it will deter permit requirements for biomass energy production for at least three years pending subsequent rule-making. The moratorium is expected to allow the EPA and the US Department of Agriculture to work with Congress and biomass producers to develop a sciencebased policy that will support the biomass sector in the long term, without penalising biomass energy production in the interim. The move has been described as a ‘critical step towards recognising the full carbon benefits of biomass’ by National Alliance of Forest Owners CEO Dave Tenny. It comes as a response to a call from the biomass industry for the EPA to recognise the carbon benefits of biomass in its rules. Last May, the EPA included greenhouse gas emissions from biomass in the Tailoring Rule permit programme, to which NAFO submitted a petition asking for the rule to be deferred and reconsidered.
Abengoa restarts operations at Portales ethanol plant
Bioenergy: company news
Cosan, Shell joint venture gains approval A joint bioethanol venture between Shell Brazil and Brazilian ethanol producer Cosan Indústria e Comércio has been cleared under the European Union merger regulation. The European Commission determined that the transaction would ‘not significantly impede’ competition in the European Economic Area. Cosan and Shell signed a binding agreement to develop a $12bn joint venture that will produce, distribute and sell ethanol, sugar and fuel products in Brazil and around the globe, in August 2010. The joint venture is anticipated to focus on producing and trading ethanol and sugar globally, as well as developing and licensing ethanol technologies, and distributing fuel products in Brazil. Global energy group Shell and ethanol trader Cosan also hope to co-generate electricity at the venture’s Brazil-based ethanol and sugar facilities.
Eco-Solids launches €3.5m programme Eco-Solids International, which provides biomass and waste treatment technology, is set to launch a €3.5m research programme funded by the European Union (EU) that aims to enhance renewable energy production from food waste. Led by the University of Southampton and 13 EU global partners under its seventh framework energy programme, the Valorgas programme will examine the potential for producing biogas from treating food waste. The programme will explore ways to produce energy from pre-processing and optimising fuel conversion technology and maximise energy gains, Eco-Solids said. Principal research fellow at the University of Southampton, Dr Sonia Heaven, said, ‘Eco-Solids International brings considerable expertise to this project and ia proving a very knowledgeable and valuable partner.’
Praj, Qteros collaborate to plug cellulosic ethanol gap India-based biofuel technology developer Praj Industries has partnered with US bio-processing platform developer Qteros to commercialise low-cost processes for industrial-scale cellulosic ethanol production. The global scarcity of cellulosic biofuel was recently highlighted by the US government’s unprecedented decision to lower minimum requirements for cellulosic ethanol blending under the Renewable Standard Portfolio. John A McCarthy Jr, president and CEO of Qteros, said, ‘Praj and Qteros bring together highly complementary skill sets and core competencies which we expect will catalyse our ability to develop the John A McCarthy Jr, CEO, Qteros industry’s low-cost solution – both from an operating and capital perspective – for large-scale cellulosic ethanol production.’ The US Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 calls for 16 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol to be blended into the country’s annual fuel supply by 2022. Targeting US legislative conditions, the partners plan to develop process design packages to enable cellulosic ethanol production from various feedstocks at a low cost. They hope to achieve a low cost industrial production process enabled by Qteros’s proprietary micro-organism, the Q-Microbe, which works as a natural ‘biorefinery’ producing enzymes for biomass conversion. Praj plans to refit its existing pilot plant in Pune, India with Qteros’s technology platform for accelerated production scaling.
Weltec orders microturbines for Brandenburg CHP plant Weltec Biopower has ordered the first microturbines for its Combined Heat and Power (CHP) biogas plant in Barsikow in the German state of Brandenburg. Beginning in mid-2011, the technology will be used to produce an annual volume of about 8.4 million standard cubic meters of biogas and 3 million cubic meters of biomethane using maize, whole plant silage, and dry chicken manure as input substances. The CHP plant with will be combined with a biogas processing plant. The thermal energy contained in the exhaust flow of the microturbine in the CHP plant will be used as process heat for the biogas processing plant.
The objective is to achieve self-sufficient heat supply of the processing plant. The 2.2MW of electrical energy generated will be fed into the local grid energy supplier. ‘When processing biomethane, the water must have a temperature of 140°C. In this context, the high thermal efficiency of microturbines provides an important advantage that helps to substantially increase the overall efficiency of biomethane production,’ said Robert Tholen, head of technology at Weltec. The microturbine was ordered from fellow German company Greenvironment. Weltec is responsible for the overall planning, turnkey setup, production, and installation of the biogas park in Barsikow.
bioenergy: company news
Senator Mary Landrieu welcomes the Diamond Green Diesel project
Diamond Green Diesel, a proposed biofuels project using food waste, has obtained a conditional commitment for $241m loan guarantee from the US Department of Energy (DOE). The project is a joint venture between two Texas-based companies, oil and ethanol producer Valero Energy food waste and processing specialists Darling International. The loan guarantee will support the construction of a 137 million gallon (518 million litre) per year biodiesel facility in Norco, Louisiana, about 20 miles west of New Orleans. Valero is to direct the design, construction and operation of the project
and market all of its output, while Darling International will supply the feedstock, including animal fats, used cooking oil and other waste grease. ‘Oil has paid tremendous dividends to our country. It helped us win World War II, it helped create an industrial revolution and it built the greatest middle class the world has ever seen,’ said Mary Landrieu, senior US Senator from Louisiana, welcoming the announcement. ‘But as we move to new technologies beyond oil, we must embrace the transition to clean renewable energy. Projects like Diamond Green Diesel are a step in the right direction.’
Metso to supply 50MW biomass boiler to Porvoon Energia in Finland Engineering group Metso will supply Porvoon Energia with a biomass boiler plant for combined heat and power production (CHP) in the township of Tolkkinen, Finland. The biomass plant will use a combination of wood chips, bark and sawdust as its main fuel source, and will be based on ‘bubbling fluidised bed’ technology. It is scheduled to begin operating in early 2013. The plant will produce 38MW of heat for the local area and 12MW of electricity for the national grid. The new plant will be built on the same site as an existing power station, which dates from 1979. Metso supplies technology and services for mining, construction, power generation, automation, recycling, and the pulp and paper industries.
Bioenergy News Round-Up Global biomass producer Enviva has signalled its US expansion by establishing a new wood pellet manufacturing base in North Carolina, while mulling the development of at least two more production bases in the region. Enviva said it hopes the move will position it as the dominant biomass supplier in the resourcerich mid-Atlantic region. The new plant at Georgia Pacific lumber facility in Hertford County, Ahoskie is expected to produce 330,000 tons of wood pellets each year. Australian airline operator Quantas is set to partner with bioenergy company Solena Group to establish a biofuel plant that could fuel the airline’s future flights. The two companies are reported to be close to signing a deal to develop a biofuel production facility that will use FischerTropsch technology that is expected to close by the end of the year. The planned plant would use agricultural and industrial waste including food leftovers to make aviation biofuel.
Diamond Green Diesel gets $241m DOE loan guarantee
OriginOil, which develops technology to transform algae into renewable oil, has decided to focus on embedding its technology in industrial algae systems as its route to commercialisation. The company said it will continue to rely on strategic partners to help prove and scale its extraction technology, while its long-term goal will be licensing its products. It will work with OEMS to integrate its technology into their systems.
For daily breaking news, including deals, project developments, and all the latest industry updates in the global bioenergy sector, go to www.NewEnergyWorldNetwork.com
energy efficiency news
energy efficiency: DEAL news
TurboSonic wins $1m contract for air technology
Landis+Gyr wins China smart grid supply deal
Canada-based clean air technology developer TurboSonic Technologies says it has been awarded a $1m contract for its wet electrostatic precipitator (WESP) technology from an unnamed European chemical producer. The WESP is designed to reduce particulate emissions from a petroleum coke-fired kiln. TurboSonic’s customer previously purchased a WESP in 2006 for similar control of particulates and sulphur trioxide, a major cause of acid rain. ‘We are experiencing a considerable amount of activity in our markets, as witnessed by our fourth major order announcement in the past 60 days, and we believe that such activity and resulting order flow will continue for the foreseeable future,’ said Edward Spink, CEO of TurboSonic. TurboSonic, which is based in Waterloo in southern Ontario, designs and markets air pollution control technologies to industrial customers.
Landis+Gyr said it is to supply China with more than 10,000 smart meters through an agreement formed with the state operator of the country’s grid. The company already has a strong presence in the country and has become the only international smart meter vendor to win a contract to supply the polyphase Landis+Gyr beat 25 other providers in the bidding process with commercial and inthe state operator of China’s energy grid dustrial smart meters, despite 25 providers competing in the bidding process. Oliver Iltisberger, executive vice president of the Asia-Pacific region, said, ‘It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of this initial contract, given the State Grid Corporation of China’s stated determination to build a smart grid in the areas it operates.’ Iltisberger added, ‘Landis+Gyr are thrilled at the prospect of partnering with the State Grid Corporation, to help Chinese businesses and consumers manage energy better in the world’s fastest growing economy.’
SPIG wins $11m Russell City Energy Center order
Clean Energy Fuels buys Northstar
Private equity-backed energy efficient cooling system provider SPIG has received an order worth more than $11m to provide its technology at the Russell City Energy Center in the US. SPIG, is majority-owned by the Mosiewicz family, but has also received backing from clean energy investor Ambienta. It beat worldwide competitors to win the order. A spokesperson for the company could not confirm whether the order would lead to further alliances between it and its contractor Bechtel Power. But a statement by SPIG said the order was further confirmation of the confidence Bechtel places in it and its leadership in international markets. The Russell City Energy Center is the first plant in the US with a federal air permit, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent.
California-based Clean Energy Fuels, which provides natural gas fuel infrastructure for vehicles, has acquired Wyoming Northstar for $10.8m. Clean Energy will pay $7.4m immediately and the rest in yearly instalments, plus retention bonuses of up to $4m. Northstar develops liquid natural gas (LNG) dispensers, and equipment for other liquefied and compressed natural gas fuelling facilities. It provides LNG station design, construction, operations and maintenance, and has worked closely with Clean Energy for several years. ‘Having Northstar in our group will greatly enhance our ability to build out the growing natural gas fuelling infrastructure in the United States,’ said
Andrew J Littlefair, Clean Energy’s President and CEO. ‘Our plan envisions a fuelling infrastructure serving major goods movement and trucking corridors nationwide. The growing interest in LNG in markets such as China, where we have a strong developing presence through our subsidiary, IMW Industries, may provide infrastructure opportunity as well.’ The company fuels 20,000 vehicles at over 200 locations in the US and Canada, with customers in the refuse, transit, trucking, shuttle, taxi, airport and municipal fleet markets. It owns and operates a landfill gas facility producing biomethane in Dallas, Texas. The company is listed on NASDAQ and has a market capitalisation of $65m.
Energy efficiency: DEAL news
Energy storage company European Batteries, which manufactures products for electric vehicles, has raised €13.7m from investors in a directed share issue. Finnish Industry Investment, Fennia Group and EM Group are among those who snapped up shares. European Batteries develops and manufactures large, rechargeable lithium-ion-based prismatic cells and battery systems. The batteries are used as an energy source in large electric and hybrid vehicles, such as buses and delivery vans, and heavy industrial machines and ships. The company said this round of financing will enable it to move from earlystage to industrial production. ‘We expect the battery systems market to grow as the demand for electric vehicles and other clean technologies accelerates,’ said Juha Marjosola, CEO of Finnish Industry Investment. ‘European Batteries is a significant industrial project in the field of new clean technologies. It is the first of its kind in Europe and offers a challenging development task in the high-risk technology field.’ European Batteries employs some 70 people in Espoo, Tuusula and Varkaus in Finland, and started production of prismatic cells and battery systems in its Varkaus manufacturing unit in the latter half of 2010. Its estimated turnover for 2011 is approximately €15m.
GE acquires Remote Energy Monitoring GE has strengthened its ability to provide high-efficiency energy infrastructure through its acquisition of Remote Energy Monitoring (REM). Home energy management software provider REM has operations both in the UK and Australia. Its metering solutions are approved by UK regulators and their module designs allow utilities to easily integrate future capabilities. Bob Gilligan, vice president for digital energy at GE Energy Services, said advanced software, flexible systems and robust communications are critical elements in modernising today’s infrastructure to meet the world’s energy needs. ‘The accelerating pace of change of the energy industry demands flexible, cost-effective solutions that can be modified to meet the changing needs.’
ABB enters EV charging market with ECOtality tie-up ECOtality, a clean energy transportation and storage technology provider, has secured a $10m equity investment from global engineering business ABB. Alongside the investment, the pair has entered into a North American manufacturing agreement that establishes a strategic supplier relationship. ECOtality is based in San Francisco, US and is responsible for the largest roll-out of electric vehicle infrastructure in the US. The tie-up marks the first move for ABB into the US low carbon transport market and places it alongside other power majors such as General Electric and Siemens. Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality, said the alliance will further expand the possibilities of electric transportation and make mass-consumer adoption a reality. ‘Combining ECOtality’s 20-plus years of experience in electric transportation with ABB’s expansive reach in power electronics and their strong relationship with international utilities will ensure we produce innovative and industry challenging electric vehicle-charging solutions. ‘This agreement will allow us to benefit from the extraordinary ABB global value
energy efficiency news
European Batteries raises €13.7m in direct share issue
Planners want charging station for EVs such as the Nissan Leaf
chains, streamlines our sourcing and production capabilities, and allows for Blink charging systems to be powered by ABB’s industry leading power electronics.’ ECOtality markets a range of proprietary Blink charging stations that all include smart features to maximise demand response capabilities. In 2010, ABB also made purchases in the smart grid space in the way of Ventyx and Baldor Electric. In addition, it has also formed a strate-
gic partnership agreement with Industrial Defender, with the aim of providing smart grid and critical power solutions. Brice Koch, head of ABB marketing and customer solutions, said of this latest investment, ‘The partnership brings together ABB’s experience in smart grids, renewable energy and reliable, efficient power networks, with ECOtality’s leadership in North America’s growing market for electric vehicle infrastructure.
energy efficiency: DEAL news
energy efficiency news
Heliocentris secures federal grant to optimise Nexa fuel cell Energy storage company Heliocentris Energy Solutions has secured a €760,000 grant for testing its latest Nexa 1200 fuel cell system under a programme run by the German government. The funding was provided by the Nationale Innovationsprogramm Wasserstoff- und Brennstoffzellentechnologie (NIP), a government-owned platform for hydrogen fuel cell research and development. ‘The programme is focused on the support of market preparation and thus fits well in our schedule of market introduction of stationary fuel cell solutions,’ said Heliocentris CEO Henrik Colell. The company recently began testing the new fuel cell in industrial field tests to optimise the Nexa fuel cell to meet concrete market requirements. Through the tests, the system is being integrated into emergency and autonomous power supply solutions.
Cleantech start-up LS9 raises $30m to support growth US-based clean technology start-up LS9 has raised $30m in its latest round of funding, which was led by global asset manager BlackRock. All of the company’s previous backers participated in the financing, which it said will help it ready its products for commercial production and support its development and growth programmes. Existing shareholders Flagship Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and the venture capital arm of Chevron Technology Ventures, CTTV Investments, also participated in the round. LS9’s board chairman Noubar Afeyan, who is also the managing partner of Flagship Ventures, said, ‘This funding round is a strong endorsement of the quality of LS9’s technology, team, and ability to execute.’
Xtreme sells battery storage system to KIUC
Xtreme Power’s utility-scale battery storage system will be installed in Koloa
SAIL Venture Partners-backed energy storage start-up Xtreme Power has secured the first sale of its latest battery storage system, signing a contract in January to sell a 1.5MW system to Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) in Hawaii. Its dynamic power resource will be installed at a substation in Koloa, and will help mitigate the effects of a 3MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project scheduled to be built by the end of the year, which will also feed into the substation. ‘KIUC is presented with a unique set of challenges in terms of grid stability,’ said KIUC senior electrical engineer John Cox. ‘The advanced capabilities of Xtreme Power’s technology provide support in this capacity, while promoting increased renewable energy generation on Kaua’i.’ KIUC said the new storage system will enable it smooth the power output from its solar PV projects by providing reactive response power, compensating for output fluctuations. The system will also respond to other system events such as loss of power generation and faults in the system.
Al Maskari supports $3bn Libya renewable energy hub Abu Dhabi family-owned investment group Al Maskari intends to back a $3bn renewable energy hub in Libya, together with an undersea transmission project that will connect the North African country with Italy. Libya’s Privatisation and Investment Board representative Sirajeldean Elbadri confirmed that an agreement was signed for the project in the country’s capital in December, according to reports. Al Maskari’s chairperson Sheikha Aisha Al Maskari expressed the group’s interest in investing in solar power at a recent investor forum, reports said. She said Al Maskari is concentrating on solar power-focused investment in Libya. Libya’s proposed energy hub will
predominantly house solar projects under the government’s privatisation programme, whereas the transmission project is designed to export solar and conventional power to Europe from Libya. Libya’s Minister for Privatisation and Investment Jamal Ellamushe said that the country hopes to transmit power to southern Europe to help address power shortages imposed by Russia. The Al Maskari group has previously invested in a 20-year renewable energy development with Norway’s government. Dr Al Maskari became chair of familyowned company Tricon Energy Operations after working with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for ten years.
Energy efficiency: DEAL news
Lyceum Capital-backed energy procurement and compliance specialist M&C Energy Group has acquired outsourced energy management company Utility Masters as it eyes further acquisitions to boost its global presence. Scotland-based M&C expects that this latest acquisition – its fourth in a year – will see its turnover increase to £40m and cement its position as a global energy consultancy. With a focus on energy procurement and carbon reduction, UK company Utility Masters will add further depth and expertise to M&C’s existing services and energy management solutions; increasing its stature as a global energy services player. Following the acquisition, Utility Master’s founding partners Jim McGhie, Shaun McClarnon and Kevin Whaites, will join M&C. M&C, which manages more than
£6.25bn in consumed energy each year on behalf of 3,500 large energy users in 13 countries, is also planning several further acquisitions in Europe and elsewhere as part of its strategy to become a global provider of energy management services in the burgeoning energy management sector, according to the company’s CEO Simon Northrop. ‘Our aim is to become a major global provider of energy management services and we are working on a number of further acquisitions, both in Europe and globally, to enable us to deliver on this objective,’ he said. ‘As the energy consultancy business matures, there will be less of an opportunity for smaller players to compete effectively with the services and product range offered by large international consultancies such as M&C.’
Riverstone, Harbinger lead $76m investment in EV developer Coda
NewSpring invests in Raritan’s power management US private equity firm NewSpring Capital has invested in IT infrastructure management solution provider Raritan’s growing power management business through its growth equity fund, NewSpring Growth Capital II. The investment is expected to boost Raritan on its pathway to growth through funding its development of new products and expansion into new territory. Since entering into the power management solutions business three years ago, Raritan has provided services to help companies improve energy efficiency in their data centres, picking up heavyweight clients such as eBay and Cisco. The company said it plans to use proceeds from the investment to facilitate its growth in the data centre power management market, aid its expansion into new geographies and develop new products. The energy efficiency or otherwise of data centres has garnered an increasing level of attention in recent years, with the proliferation of computers and the internet.
energy efficiency news
M&C acquires Utility Masters, primes for global growth
ENER-G acquires SmartHome Controls
Coda will use the new capital to prepare the production of its flagship vehicle, the Coda Sedan
Electric vehicle and advanced lithium-ion battery developer Coda has raised $76m in the initial closing of a Series D preferred investment round led by private equity firms Harbinger Capital Partners and Riverstone Holdings. Coda said it will use the new capital to prepare for production of its flagship fully electric vehicle, the Coda Sedan, and to support its 2011 marketing drive. The new financing brings the total amount raised by the company up to more than $200m. Coda said that the investment will also fund further equity investment in its joint venture battery production facility where it plans to manufacture its lithium-ion battery systems for vehicle and utility applications. Morgan Stanley acted as the sole investment adviser and placement agent for Coda for the round.
UK-based low carbon technology company ENER-G has acquired smart energy specialist SmartHome Controls (SHC) as part of its strategic growth programme. The company said it plans to expand into the new-build and retrofit sectors following the acquisition. SHC designs, manufactures, installs and maintains intelligent heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting control systems to promote energy efficiency in high-end residential properties. Following the acquisition, the company will form part of the ENERG’s building energy controls business. ENER-G said the acquisition will enable it to gain entry into the residential controls market, and provide a one-stop-shop for building controls technology and services for all sectors.
energy efficiency: DEAL news
energy efficiency news
European Commission selects projects for €58m Intelligent Energy programme The European Commission has selected 44 projects that will share €58m under its Intelligent Energy programme, which aims to promote the wider use of renewable energies and energy efficiency technologies. The scheme received 349 applications and the Commission is now in talks with the selected 44 projects over how to advance their plans. The Commission said the programme covers a wide range of topics, aimed at boosting the adoption of some of the first full-sized wave and tidal system energy generation technologies. Recipients also included those in the biomass and biowaste sectors, and businesses looking to improve the energy efficiency of freight transport. As past of the programme, the UrbanBiogas project will bring five European cities together in order to further explore how urban waste can be processed to produce biomethane for the transportation sector.
EBRD invests €10m in Romanian energy efficiency projects Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided OTP Bank Romania with a €10m loan to finance sustainable energy projects undertaken by local businesses. EBRD said the project will enable the private industrial sector to maximise energy savings and improve its overall competitiveness. The credit line will be used to finance energy efficiency investments by Romanian companies with long-term loans worth up to €2.5m each, it said. The EBRD financing will be complemented by grant funding from the European Union under the EBRD and European Union Energy Efficiency Financing Facility Framework.
Balqon secures $15.9m in electric drive systems order Heavy-duty electric vehicle and lithiumion battery developer Balqon has secured an order for 300 electric drive systems, each priced at $53,000, from China-based energy storage unit developer Winston Global Energy. Winston Global is to integrate the electric drive systems into a fleet of buses and market them to local private and government fleet operators in China, the company said. The $15.9m deal follows a $5m private placement that Balqon completed last month and is expected to create near to 150 jobs in Los Angeles County during the next 18 months. The company said it is planning to start production later this year in California. Balqon will start hiring next month to meet the order, with jobs opening in fabrication, engineering, research and development fields. ‘This order from Winston Global Energy validates the competitiveness of
our technology in the global marketplace and will result in the creation of high tech green jobs domestically,’ said Balqon CEO Balwinder Samra. Balqon’s electric drive system incorporates a high-efficiency electric motor and automatic transmission with its proprietary inverter technology, a lithium-ion battery management system, a vehicle diagnostic system and related software. Winston Global Energy CEO Winston Chung said, ‘We believe that combining our lithium battery and fast charging technology with Balqon’s proprietary electric drive systems will enable us to provide cost competitive zero-emissions solution to a growing global demand for electric vehicles.’ Winston Battery produces batteries for electric bikes, motorcycles, automobiles and hybrid vehicles, and is currently the only company engaged in mass production of rechargeable storage batteries.
Trivest Partners recapitalises AM Conservation Group with $325m Private investment firm Trivest Partners has invested $325m in US-based energy reduction and water conservation product supplier AM Conservation Group. The conservation-focused group’s management team, led by founder Paul Cutler, will continue to own and manage the business following the recapitalisation. Operating in the energy efficiency, energy and water conservation space, the company’s products are predominantly used to implement conservation programmes. Its clientele includes utilities, energy service companies, water purveyors, government agencies and universities. AM Conservation Group president and founder Paul Cutler said, ‘This transaction provides the company with the resources we need to aggressively implement our growth strategy.’ Following the investment, the group’s short-term strategy is to expand its production facility by 15,000 square feet, as well as increasing its headcount, according to Cutler. ‘We also plan to leverage Trivest’s strong retail relationships to drive new product sales. We look forward to working with Trivest and executing our strategy together,’ Cutler said. With Trivest Fund IV providing the $325m commitment in addition to equity provided by Cutler, Trivest managing partner Troy Templeton said the conservation group is poised for growth. ‘[AM Conservation Group’s] strong cash flow, history of growth and highlydiversified customer base perfectly align [it] with businesses that Trivest has successfully partnered with in the past,’ said Templeton.
Energy efficiency: company news
Technology manufacturing giant Honeywell and Chinese appliances brand Haier Group have inked an agreement that could see them develop solar-powered water heating systems along with a stream of other energy efficient appliances. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding pledging to co-operate strategically on the development and promotion of low-emission, high energy-efficiency products and solutions. The agreement will see them work collaboratively on new technology that seeks to make household appliances, intelligent home systems, residential heating, building automation, and mass transit more efficient. ‘More than 50 per cent of our product portfolio is related to energy and energy efficiency,’ said Shane Tedjarati, CEO of Honeywell’s China and India units. ‘We believe we can apply our expertise in energy-efficiency, intelligent buildings systems, and automation and controls to help Haier manufacture products that will benefit both their customers and the environment.’ One area of collaboration will be the use of energy-efficient foam insulation featuring Honeywell’s non-ozone depleting Enovate blowing agent, in Haier appliances.
Toshiba to supply lithium-ion batteries to Mitsubishi’s EVs
Mazda enters the competitive global EV arena Mazda is set to join the ranks of car manufacturers looking to develop lowcarbon vehicles, going head-to-head against those targeting the city drivers. Speaking in Japan, Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi said the company wanted to be able to respond swiftly if the interest for electric vehicles in urban environments picked up, according to Reuters. Japan has recently stepped up efforts to further its low carbon transport infrastructure and is targeting 2015 for a new hydrogen gas station roll-out. The car maker will, however, face stiff competition, as Nissan launched its 100 per cent electric vehicle, the Leaf, in December with a price tag of about $45,000. Mazda aims to base its electric model on the Mazda2/Demio, a compact model that will have a range in the region of 200km.
Public consultation launched for Scottish recycling village
Mitsubishi’s Minicab i-MiEV will use Toshiba’s lithium-ion batteries
Tokyo, Japan-based Toshiba is to supply lithium-ion batteries to Mitsubishi Motors, according to reports. Mitsubishi will use the Toshiba batteries in its new Minicab i-MiEV electric vehicle, which is due to go on sale in the second half of this year, according to local press. Following the release last year of the i-MiEV, the new version is due to go on sale for a low cost of around $24,450, which will be supported by government subsidies, reports said.
Toshiba also partnered with the Japanese government in January to build a solar plant in Bulgaria, Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported. The electronics major is reported to be paying for a bulk of the project cost in partnership with the Japanese, government, while CEZ Group will also shoulder some of the cost. Meanwhile, Toshiba announced in January that its hydroelectric business Toshiba Hydro Power will supply two hydroelectric generators to a subsidiary of China Datang.
energy efficiency news
Honeywell, Haier to develop energy efficient product stream
Lifetime Recycling Village has launched a public consultation on its plans to create Scotland’s first recycling village, which would divert 1.5 million tonnes of mixed waste a year from landfill. The proposed recycling hub, to be based in Loganswell, would involve advanced mechanical recycling, biomass gasification and plasma vitrification technology to create a 104MW closed loop renewable energy facility. The proposed recycling village is anticipated to bring more than 700 jobs to the region, in addition to providing a sustainable solution to Scotland’s waste problem, the company said. Scotland sends enough waste to landfill every year to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool every ten minutes, it added. Lifetime Recycling Village was established to engage the local community in meeting the Scottish government’s target of ending landfill by 2017.
energy efficiency: COMPANY news
energy efficiency news
Affordable electric cars not expected in UK before 2015 Affordable electric vehicles will not be available on the UK market until 2015 and their adoption will need to be supported by government subsidies, according to a new survey. Latest figures from consultancy and advisory business KPMG show that more than 90 per cent of auto executives see investment in hybrid systems, battery electric power or hydrogen fuel-cell technologies as a key priority over the next five years. But these next generation vehicles will not be viewed as affordable by the mass market until 2015, the report warned, and their introduction must be supported by favourable policies that support consumers. Towards the end of 2010, the UK government gave the go-ahead for nine electric and low emission vehicles to be eligible for consumer rebates, giving a boost to the domestic market. It has pledged to spend up to £43m assisting the growth of the sector by providing consumers of particular vehicles a £5,000 cash back grant if they purchase these new models. According to KPMG’s 2011 Global Automotive Executive Survey, which questioned more than 200 global automakers, the future adoption of these cars will be supported by urban planning and environmental restrictions.
Think plans three-year ramp-up at new EV plant
Think CEO Barry Engle: ‘Think City vehicles are selling in Europe and the US’
Norway-based electric vehicle maker Think Global has started producing its Think City model at its production facility in Elkhart in Indiana, US. Think said it plans to build 300 of the City model vehicles at the Indiana facility by the end of the year. It intends to achieve this goal by increasing jobs at the plant fourfold by the end of next year, with an eventual aim of employing more than 415 people at the Elkhart plant by the end of 2013. Think CEO Barry Engle said, ‘We are now manufacturing and selling both in Europe and the US, and have produced more than 2,500 Think City vehicles.’ Think’s Indiana plant puts the finishing touches on partially-assembled vehicles delivered from Finland-based manufacturer Valmet Automotive, which produces Think vehicles for the European market. The Indiana plant takes care of the installation of electric drive trains with advanced lithium-ion batteries manufactured by Ener1, which is based in Indianapolis. Think said it intends to replicate the Finland-based production line, tooling facilities and processes in the US as part of its plans to scale production to build 2,500 vehicles for the US market in 2011.
TWC splits to form EIG Global Energy Partners The Energy & Infrastructure Group of US investment manager Trust Company of the West (TWC) has spunout to form independent investment company EIG Global Energy Partners. EIG will start operations with more than $8.5bn under management and will continue its focus as a specialist investor in energy infrastructure projects, and companies on a global basis. The new firm is based in Washington, with US additional offices in Houston and New York, as well as global offices in London, UK and Sydney, Australia. ‘EIG is proud to have what we believe to be the longest continuous track-record
of any institutional investor in energy and we’re pleased that we can now continue that record as an independent firm,’ said EIG’s CEO R Blair Thomas. ‘The demand for capital in the sector is huge and we believe we are uniquely positioned to capture the opportunities this demand creates due to our global platform, track record, and ability to invest in all aspects of the energy value chain.’ Thomas said EIG will maintain its singular focus on investing in the niche energy infrastructure sector, without being part of a larger financial institution. In its former glory as part of TWC,
EIG invested more than $11bn in the energy infrastructure sector in 32 countries. The group specialises in private investments in the energy sector, with clients including pension plans, insurance companies, foundations and sovereign wealth funds in the US, Asia and Europe. Coinciding with the split, TWC has launched the TCW Emerging Markets Local Currency Income Fund, expanding its line-up of emerging market strategies focused on fixed income securities, the company said in a release. The fund expands TCW’s line-up of emerging markets strategies focused on fixed income securities.
energy efficiency: COMPANY NEWS
US tackles critical rare earth supply shortage
US DOE has concluded that 20 per cent of global consumption of rare earths is made through the clean energy economy
In addition, it said as clean energy technologies are deployed more widely in the decade ahead, their share of global consumption of critical materials is likely to grow further. Recent reports suggest that China, which currently produces 97 per cent of these elements, has increased rare earth
Ford retools plant for electricity and hybrid vehicle roll-out in US
The Michigan assembly plant will also be home to the new Ford Focus
Ford Motor Company has retooled its assembly plant in Michigan, US, which formerly produced sport utility vehicles, in a $550m transformation that will make it the world’s first factory to build fuel efficient and electric vehicles. The plant will create full battery electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars, together with fuel-efficient gas-powered cars. The Michigan assembly plant will be home to new Ford Focus that the company has already started producing, which goes on sale in early 2011. The plant will also assemble the Focus Electric, a zero-emission battery electric vehicle that will go into production late next year. Ford revealed that the Focus Electric will also be followed by a new hybrid and a plug-in hybrid vehicle in 2012.
exports during November, reversing the trend for falling export levels, which had concerned both the US and Japan. Of the materials analysed, five rare earths metals – dysprosium, neodymium, terbium, europium and yttrium – as well as indium, were assessed as most critical in the short term.
AWS launches plastic recycling facility in Europe Plastics recycler AWS Eco Plastics has opened what it says is the largest plastic sorting facility in Europe, following the devastation of its former plastic bottle sorting facility that was damaged by a fire. The new plastic bottle sorting facility in North Lincolnshire, England will be capable of processing more than 100,000 tonnes of waste plastic each year. The Hemswell factory is valued at more than £17m and features equipment developed by manufacturers Stadler, Titech and Herbold. With a flexible output of 11 streams of plastic, the equipment will be capable of processing a diverse range of plastic feedstocks, boasting 17 polymer and optical sorters. AWS said a key market for its new facility will be the production of plastics suitable for containing food. The company said that independent research shows its products are 68 per cent less carbon-intensive than packaging made with virgin materials.
energy efficiency news
Access to rare earths will be crucial to ensuring the US’ successful transition to a low carbon economy, according to a recently released strategy report from the US Department of Energy (DOE). The Critical Materials Strategy report examines the role of rare earths and other materials in the clean energy economy, based on research conducted over the past year. It has concluded that several clean energy technologies – including wind turbines, electric vehicles, photovoltaic cells and fluorescent lighting – all use materials that are at risk of supply distributions in the short term. Although it conceded this risk is reduced in the medium and long term, it said they are especially crucial to the clean energy economy as the sector currently constitutes about 20 per cent of global consumption of critical materials.
energy efficiency: company news
energy efficiency news
German developer juwi targets green domestic building sector
Renewable energy project developer juwi has launched a specific business division targeting the green building space and has begun to win initial orders. Ralf Heidenreich, spokesperson for the Wörrstadt, Germany-based company, said the business was entering the green building space in collaboration with two other companies. Heidenreich said juwi’s new strategy was gaining particular traction in the domestic public sector. ‘The first order came from the public sector. [The government] is very interested to make its buildings green because of their own renewable energy targets,’ he said. ‘It is very important for them to show that they are one of the
CTX links with Winrock’s ACR The Carbon Trade Exchange and the American Carbon Registry are to establish an interface to promote the trading of voluntary carbon credits. The Carbon Trade Exchange (CTX), a web-based electronic platform for spot trading of carbon credits, and the American Carbon Registry (ACR), a US carbon offset standard organisation and project registry, will interface to trade ACR’s entire range of credits. The deal between the two organisations was agreed on the sidelines of the Cancún climate change summit in December. ‘Carbon finance is essential to stimulate wide-scale development of emissions reduction projects,’ said Mary Grady, ACR’s director of marketing. ‘Providing an exchange option will boost voluntary carbon market participation beyond over-thecounter trading, and increase market transparency and liquidity.’
The German government has become an advocate of juwi’s sustainable development strategy
first who are doing something for the climate in the green buildings space.’ In January, the company said it was to construct the world’s largest rooftop
solar power plant at the Dunlop logistics centre in Baden-Wüerttemberg, underscoring the group’s move into building integrated photovoltaics.
Nanotechnology will cut the cost of clean energy Global investment in renewable energy, forecast to top $2tn over the next five years, could achieve the same results for $300bn less using already-available commercial nanotechnology, according to a study by New York-based ABI Research. The research anticipates that between 2010 and 2015, new solar photovoltaic installations and new wind installations implemented over the forecast period will total 652GW. Fuel cell shipments are also expected to total more than 35 million units over that period, indicating that sector is on the cusp of global commercialisation. ‘The addition of nanomaterials to the manufacturing processes makes solar cells, wind turbines and fuel cells cheaper to produce, while improving their efficiency in generating electricity,’ said Larry Fisher of ABI.
AES installs its first commercial battery storage system in US AES Energy Storage has installed the initial phase of the first commercial battery-based energy storage system in the US, in Johnson City, New York state. The company said the project is designed to provide immediate response to grid operator requests for power to help level the variability of generation and demand on the New York grid.
The project, which is expected to be fully installed by the end of the year, is slated to supply around 20MW of emissionsfree reserve capacity to the state. The project completed performance testing last month with the New York Independent System Operator and is already delivering reserve capacity, the company said.
ECO Plastics looks to raise £15m to expand facilities
Infrastructure bonds could plug carbon financing deficit in UK
company is in a market with both huge demand and growth potential, and it sees this as the right time to undertake further expansion. This growth of the UK market is clearly witnessed in the amount of plastic that is recycled today compared to five years ago. In 2003, the UK collected 24,000 tonnes of plastic bottles. By 2009, this had risen to nearly 260,000 tonnes – a figure that is expected to have risen to 300,000 in 2010. ‘If you go back five years ago, the UK market was definitely behind,’ Gangsted said. ‘In Germany, recycling measures were put in place early on, but the growth in the UK has been customer and retail-driven.’
Green infrastructure bonds offer the most attractive option for plugging a deficit in the UK, leaving the level of financing from utilities and infrastructure funds available in the next decade for low carbon infrastructure, at only a quarter of the amount needed to make the transition to a low carbon society, according to a report by Climate Change Capital (CCC). At least £200bn of low carbon infrastructure investment is required in the UK between now and 2020, according to Ernst & Young estimates. However, traditional sources of capital available for low carbon investment – such as utilities, project finance and infrastructure support – only amount to between £50bn and £80bn. Although there are a variety of different green or climate bond options available on the market, green infrastructure bonds are the most widely applicable and scalable option for low carbon financing, and their development is crucial to enabling low cost exits post-construction phase, CCC says. The development of the instruments in the green sector is also fundamental for securing the longer term project finance debt held by banks with constrained balance sheets. In addition, they are able to match long-term returns from the operational infrastructure sector, given growing liabilities held by pension funds and insurance companies, CCC adds. Despite its potential, the sticking point is that at present, a green infrastructure bond market does not exist at a scale significant enough to access institutional investors. It is hoped that the Green Investment Bank will help accelerate the creation of a liquid green infrastructure bonds market. A UK-based Green Investment Bank could spur the green infrastructure bond market through temporary holdings of first-loss tranches from early bond issuances, says CCC.
UK-based recycling business ECO Plastics has launched a £15m funding round, which its chairman said will be used to further expand its existing site. The company owns and operates a facility in Hemswell, Lincolnshire that processes plastic waste and converts it back into food-grade material. Peter Gangsted, chairman of ECO Plastics, said the funding round was progressing well. ‘We are mainly talking with existing investors, but are open to other new entrants as well,’ he said. The company is not able to give specifics on those that have already committed capital other than the fact they are high-net-worth individuals and private equity firms. Gangsted said the
Tesla sales gain momentum in Australian EV market
Tesla’s Model S should be available in Australia next year
Tesla Motors has continued its international expansion and foothold in the electric vehicle sector, selling more than 1,500 of its Roadster model and gaining approval for its vehicles to be driven on Australian roads. At the Detroit motor show in January, it also unveiled the most detailed look yet of its Model S, which is scheduled for launch in 2012. The cleantech start-up that carried out an initial public offering in 2010 has now sold more than 1,500 units across 30 countries. Speaking at NewNet’s Envirotech and Clean Energy Investor Summit in December, Cristiano Carlutti, vice president of sales and operations at the business, said despite the range of hybrid solutions on the market, Tesla sees the future in battery technology. ‘Telsa will be fully electric for the time being, we believe the electric power train is the long-term solution,’ he said. He said while there are obvious constraints in the range batteries on the market today can offer, this will clearly improve in the near future.
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energy efficiency: company news
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PepsiCo UK pledges to invest in green sources for manufacturing The UK division of consumer goods group PepsiCo has underlined its green credentials with a commitment to be free of using fossil fuels by 2023. It said to achieve this, over the next 15 years, it will make investments to ensure all energy used in its manufacturing and distribution will be from renewable sources. On a shorter time frame, it has also pledged to increase its total share of its electricity from renewables, up to 14 per cent within the next three years. It has also committed to replacing its entire delivery fleet with low-emissions vehicles and reduce its energy use by a further 20 per cent per kilogram of production. Richard Evans, president of PepsiCo
Masdar delays hydrogen joint venture with BP Plans by Abu Dhabi’s state-run clean energy company Masdar are reportedly to be scaled back further, as it delays a hydrogen joint venture with BP. The report, made by Reuters, comes on the back of rumours that the company will no longer build a solar manufacturing plant in its home market due to lack of demand. Masdar’s head of power Frank Wouters is reported to have said the $2.2bn project has been held back and is still awaiting approvals from the government. But, its international plans are continuing with force and in January its photovoltaic division Masdar PV announced it had built a 6MWp solar park in partnership with Germany-based solar plant constructor Beck Energy. Masdar City has also recently welcomed US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and during her visit she underscored the importance of US-Middle East relations in clean technology.
PepsiCo plans to reduce landfill waste and packaging across all its brands
UK and Ireland, said that through the economic challenges of 2010, the company has delivered good progress against many of its commitments. ‘However, our journey on the ‘path to zero’ does not end here. We have
set ourselves purposefully, stretching targets to unplug from the water grid, become fossil fuel-free, reduce packaging and landfill waste and increase our use of renewables,’ Evans said.
Noresco expands Hawaii energy savings contract US energy infrastructure company Noresco, a subsidiary of United Technologies, has expanded its energy savings performance contract with Hawaii to include $2.9m for a US-funded solar demonstration project. The energy efficiency contract will now be broadened to include a 200kW photovoltaic system in Honolulu, the company said. Noresco senior account executive Jay Johnson said, ‘This project already exemplified what integrated energy and water efficiency strategies are all about. Now it also illustrates that solar energy technologies are ready for deployment.’
EPA, Chrysler partner to develop energy efficient light vehicles The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has partnered with automaker Chrysler to develop energy efficient hydraulic hybrid technology for the light vehicle market, using its own patented technology. Hydraulic hybrid technology is anticipated to increase fuel efficiency in light vehicles by up to 35 per cent, increasing efficiency by 60 per cent in
city conditions, and cutting emissions by a quarter. The EPA said that the goal of the partnership is to design a Chrysler minivan as a demonstration vehicle, using technology under its own patents. The agency’s hybrid technology, developed in-house at its laboratories in Ann Arbor, Michigan is increasingly used in refuse trucks in the US.
energy efficiency: COMPANY news
Global energy management system developer GreenWave Reality is the latest company to collaborate on the SmartCity Malaga initiative led by Spanish power utility Endesa, which was launched in 2009 to introduce a new urban energy management model. GreenWave has been recruited as a group technology partner to provide an energy management platform for residential customers, to enable utilities to balance energy on the grid and provide consumers with means to conserve energy. Its standards-based platform creates a home area network comprised of smart PowerNodes, together with a gateway that connects to a smart meter, in-home display and LEDs. GreenWave’s funding is led by Los Angeles-based clean technology fund Craton Equity Partners. The company, which has global offices in Europe, the US and Singapore, has also gleaned support from the Singapore Economic Development Board.
NTR subsidiary introduces single stream recycling in Houston
Oxford Catalysts secures inaugural order for its clean fuel reactor Clean synthetic fuel developer Oxford Catalysts Group has secured the first order for its commercial-scale FischerTropsch reactor, from its partner SGC Energia. The order is the UK-based group’s first order for its full-scale reactor and catalyst technology, which has a capacity of 25 barrels per day. The group said it remains on track to secure a larger commercial order from SGC Energia, when it has completed agreed technical milestones. SGC Energia is the investment arm of Portuguese renewable energy entrepreneur, João Pereira Coutinho. The company has already initiated engineering activities for its first commercial synthetic fuels facility.
Kenyan government in green building talks with GreenWorld
Greenstar has invested $7m in upgrading its facility to single stream recycling
Global renewable energy group NTR’s waste management business Greenstar Recycling has launched the first single stream recycling facility in Houston, Texas. Greenstar invested $7m in upgrading the facility to single stream recycling, which allows all recyclables to be combined in one bin. The company said its single stream technology in Texas has increased recycling rates in Dallas by 300 per cent, San Antonio by 200 per cent and Austin by 75 per cent.
Greenstar said it expects to see similar increases in recycling rates in Houston, now that it has made single stream processing available to businesses, residential subdivisions and municipalities in the city. Greenstar began operating in the US in 2007, establishing Houston as its headquarters for US operations. The company said it processes two million tons of recyclable materials each year through a network of 14 processing facilities.
energy efficiency news
GreenWave collaborates on €31m SmartCity initiative
GreenWorld Development, an emerging player in the global green energy products market, is in talks with the Kenyan government to build a factory near Nairobi, to manufacture energy conserving building blocks for use in affordable housing in the country. The US-based company said it is also in discussions with a US renewable energy company to build the production facility in the country, and is ready to sign a memorandum for the joint venture. GreenWorld already has a presence in neighbouring Uganda, and said it is hoping to replicate its home building facilities in other east African countries. The development of industry, agriculture and tourism in the region is expected to deliver gross domestic product growth of around five per cent in the near future, the company estimates.
For breaking news, including deals, project developments, and all the latest industry updates in the global energy efficiency and cleantech sector, go to www.NewEnergyWorldNetwork.com
waternews news Solar
Amiad pays $3.1m for 100 per cent ownership of Chinese subsidiary industry, as well as the Water filtration supplier Amiad municipal segment in the has acquired the remaining 50 second half of the year. per cent of the shares of its ChiAn increase in Arkal’s nese subsidiary, Yixing Taixing activity in China’s Environtec for $3.1m. industrial and irrigation Israel-based Amiad has grown markets pushed Amiad through a string of acquisitions, into growth in the first including fellow Israeli company half of 2010, a period Arkal Filtration Systems and when the parent comIndia’s JSK Engineering. pany itself lost money. The company began its ‘This acquisition operations in China in 1992 forms part of our longwhen it entered into a distributerm strategy to acquire torship agreement with Taixing. Amiad subsidiary Arkal experienced growth in China in 2010 positions in companies In July 2005 Amiad increased its that provide additional technologies Israel to China, Amiad said it should be stake in Taixing to 50 per cent through or enable Amiad to enter into new able to reduce costs and time-to-market. its subsidiary in Singapore, Filtration territories – as demonstrated by our Taixing’s current owners and and Control Systems Pte. acquisitions in Turkey in 2008 and management team, led by deputy chairThe company said it plans to widen India in 2009, and the establishment man Bolong Hsu will remain in place. its manufacturing facilities in China, of a subsidiary in Chile this year,’ said Amiad said it has seen signs of and increase its sales and marketing. By transferring some of its production from returning investment in China in the steel Arik Dayan, CEO of Amiad.
InfraVia Fund buys Frasie, eyes French water market The recent acquisition by France domiciled InfraVia Fund into wastewater treatment provider Frasie was driven by the company’s unique position in a niche market, its management team has revealed. InfraVia’s buy-out of Frasie (FRA Solutions Industrielles des Eaux II SAS) has seen it enter the industrial water market through a business that has a diverse portfolio of long-term contracts. The deal value has not been disclosed, but InfraVia has publicly stated it is focused on assets that generate regular and long-term revenues. Vincent Levita, CEO of OFI InfraVia, said, ‘Frasie has a specific position in a niche market in the French water market.’
Minerco secures $5m to progress energy projects Latin America-focused renewable energy developer Minerco Resources has announced a $5m equity line that will enable it to restructure moving forward. The company has also terminated its contract with Shell, opting to concentrate on its hydroelectric power project development pipeline. ‘The equity line and the termination of our shell status have provided the company with a better opportunity to restructure and properly capitalise moving forward,’ said Minerco CFO Sam Messina. Meanwhile, the company is engaged in due diligence for its Rio Toco hydropower project, which it expects to finalise in early 2011. Minerco initially entered into negotiations for the 9MW project in November. The company has also entered into talks to acquire the land required to build the Chiligatoro hydropower project, as well as seeking final approval from the Honduran Congress. It is in the process of preparing final studies in advance of a potential power purchase agreement with Honduras state-owned power company Empresa Nacional de Energia Electrical. The company has already secured approval from local communities on the project, and the Honduran National Commission of Energy has approved a 30-year operations and water contract on the project that the company has signed with Serna. ‘With the signing of our equity line, we are yet another step closer to realising our vision of providing clean, green energy in Central America,’ said V Scott Vanis, president and CEO of Minerco.
Ireland supports Gujarat approves 250MW tidal development in Kutch Carnegie wave
Australian wave energy developer Carnegie Wave Energy has secured funding from the Irish government to develop site-specific wave energy devices off the coast of Ireland. Carnegie said it will shoulder half of the cost of the project, while the Ireland’s Sustainable Energy Association (SEA) will provide the other half. Estimated at €150,000, the project will scope and determine sites on which its subsidiary CETO Wave Energy Ireland will develop tailored wave energy modules.The Irish government has established a feed-in tariff of €220 per MWh of ocean energy that Carnegie’s project will look to target. Carnegie’s Dublin-based executive director of European business development Kieran O’Brien said, ‘Reaching formal agreement with SEA for project funding allows us to begin site assessment and develop the conceptual design of a 5MW commercial demonstration project in Ireland.’
The Chief Minister of East Indian state Gujarat, Narendra Modi, has given the green light to a 50MW tidal power project to be constructed in the Gulf of Kutch that may quintuple in capacity in the future. Accompanied by Minister of State Saurabhbhai Patel, Modi signed a memorandum of understanding for the project, agreeing on specified terms with its developers. The agreement clears the way for the development to increase to five times the size of the initial phase, signing off up to 250MW of tidal power capacity. The ‘landmark’ project is expected to require million-dollar investments in tidal turbines, power export infrastructure and a local supply chain, a statement said. Marine energy developer Atlantis Resources is set to partner with Gujarat Power on the project, which is expected to break ground with construction as early as this year. Atlantis has already conducted economic and technical studies of prime sites in the Gulf of Kutch, which discovered that 300MW of tidal power resources could be harnessed in the area. It is also set to carry out further investigations into the potential of combining the offshore wind resource in the Gulf with tidal resources that would assess the feasibility of a mega marine power project. The agreement has cleared the path for the developers to begin work on the initial 50MW project, which it said can be scaled up to quadruple its initial capacity in the near future.
Toshiba sets sights on attracting geothermal orders Japanese electronics specialist Toshiba has signalled its intention to bolster its hold of the geothermal market and actively look for new orders of its steam turbine technology. The company has a large share of the geothermal turbine market, but it has not focused on the sector of late and competitors such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have been gaining traction, according to reports. Toshiba has, however, recently won a major contract for the supply of two 660MW supercritical steam turbines and generators to a coal-fired thermal power plant in India. Despite this being a different energy sub-sector it indicates the continued desire for Toshiba’s power technology. Toshiba is aiming to exert its dominance in the clean energy space and has partnered with Mitsubishi to develop batteries for the next generation of electric vehicles. It also recently announced that it will expand its manufacturing capacity at its plant in the US state of Texas for production of high-performance drive motors for hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and pure electric models.
UK’s Eden Project to build geothermal plant
Two boreholes will be drilled to create a geothermal system at the Eden project in Cornwall
A scheme to build a geothermal facility at Cornwall’s Eden Project in the UK has been given the go-ahead by the local council. The project is the country’s second geothermal installation to be approved and will see EGS Energy exploit natural underground heat to produce electricity. As part of the Eden EGS Plant, now approved by Cornwall Council, two boreholes will be drilled to create an engineered geothermal system. Guy Macpherson-Grant, managing director of EGS Energy, said, ‘Here in Cornwall, the UK’s natural home for geothermal activity and where there is a world class geothermal resource, there is a great opportunity for EGS Energy
to deploy the experience and skills of its leading team of experts.’ The UK’s only other geothermal project under development to date is on a brownfield site near Redruth, also in Cornwall. It was awarded planning permission in August 2010 and will see UK-based Geothermal Engineering provide power to the country’s National Grid. Work on the Eden Project plant is expected to start in the second half of 2010, with electricity produced from the latter months of 2013. When complete, it is due to produce up to 4MW of electrical capacity to supply the Eden Project with its power, as well as providing enough energy to power up to 5,000 homes.
Wasabi Energy to buy Icelandic geothermal plant Australia-listed Wasabi Energy has, through its subsidiary, acquired the Orkuveita Húsavíkur geothermal plant in Iceland, once again throwing the country’s tight foreign ownership rules into the spotlight. The buy-out of the plant is still subject to the formal approval of Foreign Investment Review Committee, which played such an important role in the recent Magma Energy-HS Orka tie-up. Last year’s major transaction in the Icelandic geothermal market saw Magma Energy take piecemeal stakes in HS Orka, but the deal was very nearly pushed off the tracks when the government questioned the legality of the deal and
Kalina Cycle geothermal power plant in Húsavík, Iceland
the degree of foreign ownership that would result. Wasabi Energy is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and its shares have been steadily rising over the latest quarter.
Wasabi described the acquisition as ‘significant’, and said it signals the start of its Kalina Cycle2 build-own-operate strategy. It said it conducted extensive reviews of the project were conducted before a formal decision to acquire the power plant was made. The rationale behind the acquisition was for Wasabi to become an independent power producer, position the Kalina Cycle technology as the system of choice for low temperature geothermal plants. The company’s subsidiary, Global Geothermal, will sell power into the Icelandic national grid through a power purchase agreement with the regional utility, Orkusalanehf.
Goldman Sachs, amongst others, led the arrangement for Calpine’s credit transaction
Renewable energy and natural gas company Calpine has closed a $1bn revolving credit facility, which it plans to use for working capital and corporate purposes, replacing the credit facility under its existing term loan. A consortium of banks acted as joint lead arrangers on the transaction, including Goldman Sachs Bank USA, which also acted as the sole book-runner for the transaction, the company said in a release. The new senior secured debt facility is due to mature on 10 December 2015, bearing interest based on a leverage pricing grid.
Raser gauges Lightning Dock at 15MW
Raser’s subsidiary recently signed agreements with Ormat Nevada and Evergreen Clean Energy
Renewable energy project developer Raser Technologies predicts that the Lightning Dock geothermal production well it started drilling in January in New Mexico will generate around 15MW in saleable power. Raser’s subsidiary project company Lightning Dock Geothermal 1 recently signed an agreement with a FE Clean Energy Group/Evergreen Clean Energy joint venture to fund the
project’s development. It also signed a term sheet with Ormat Nevada, which will provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the project, following a series of ‘promising’ geophysical studies. The Lightning Dock project company recently partnered with John Hancock to apply for a federal US loan guarantee as an option for the project’s long-term financing.
Reservoir extends Serbian geothermal exploration permit Eastern Europe-focused geothermal company Reservoir Capital has secured an extension of its geothermal exploration permit at a site in Vranjska Banja, Serbia until late 2011. The extension was granted following the company’s completion of its 2010 work programme, enabling it to continue exploration at the site until mid-November 2011. The final phase of the yearly programme included a geophysical survey that determined the structure and depth of the geothermal waters at the site using geo-electrical sounding techniques. The company also completed resource testing on two of its wells in the vicinity, which included step-testing and exploitation capacity testing. Based on the results of the study, Reservoir Capital identified a target south-east of its VG-2 well with thermal water at depths of between 100 and 1,500 metres.
US bank consortium supports Calpine with $1bn credit facility
Nevada employees granted option to buy 1.7 million shares Certain directors and employees of listed US-focused geothermal project developer Nevada Geothermal Power (NGP) have been granted the option to buy up to 1,695,000 common shares in the company. The company has granted the incentive stock options at a price of $0.75 per share, for a five-year term. All the common shares bought through these stock options will be subject to a hold period that expires in April 2011, the company said.
For more of the latest deal news, company updates and project developments in the geothermal sector, go to www.NewEnergyWorldNetwork.com
Brookfield Brazilian-focused agri fund holds final closing on $330m Ontario, Canada-based renewable energy investor Brookfield Asset Management has raised $330m in the final close of its Brookfield Agriland Fund, which will invest in land used to grow biofuel crops. Brookfield said its strategy for the agriculture-focused fund is to invest in a portfolio of land in Brazil that can be converted to produce sugarcane, corn or soybean. It said that agricultural land is an attractive emerging asset class for institutional investors, due to the increasing demand for soft commodities, improving diets and the growing use for biofuels. The fund’s investors include global public and private pension plans, insurance companies and endowment funds, in addition to Brookfield. ‘Agriculture is one of many investment opportunities we see. It is a com-
GAM launches renwewables fund UK-based specialist investor Guinness Asset Management (GAM) is the latest fund manager to launch a renewable energy fund targeting the UK feed-in tariffs (FITs) that were introduced last year. The Guinness Renewable Energy EIS Fund, for which GAM has set a £10m target, will invest solely in renewable energy companies that qualify for the country’s FITs. GAM said it established the fund to give investors access to a new type of investment opportunity that combines tax reliefs available under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) with the attractive FITs. The new fund will invest in solar photovoltaic, wind and hydro projects, to build a diversified portfolio while spreading technology, regulatory and meteorological risks. ‘Renewable energy companies that generate electricity under the FIT regime have great visibility of revenues,’ said fund manager Shane Gallwey.
Investors in Brookfield’s fund include pension funds and insurance companies
pelling time to be investing in the rapid economic growth of the country,’ said Brookfield’s senior managing partner Luiz Lopes. The NYSE-listed asset manager has more than a century of experience investing and operating assets in the country, together with a 28-year track record of managing agricultural lands.
The fund’s local investment team has already acquired around 240,000 acres of farmland in Brazil over the last five years. With more than $100bn under management, Brookfield has established a series of private funds and investment programmes with total capital commitments of more than $22bn, since 2001.
Narec Capital launches to back clean energy Multi-family office Ashberg has partnered with the UK’s National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) to form Narec Capital, which will look to deploy its own funds and offer advisory services to institutional investors in the clean power sector. Jerry Biggs, investment director at Ashberg, said that Narec Capital will be based on four pillars based on the areas of technical consultancy, insurance solutions, corporate finance and through a range of its own funds. Biggs said its own funds will be targeted to areas that have in the past suffered from capital shortages and it is presently raising capital for its first investment vehicle that will have a particular technology focus. ‘We have some very big funding partners, but want to be open to as many firms becoming involved as possible,’ he said. Narec Capital will also aim to provide the education and data required by insurers in order for them to commit capital to large-scale renewable energy infrastructure projects. ‘The whole aim of Narec is to de-risk renewable energy projects and technologies to encourage an increase in capital flow,’ Biggs said. ‘We want to bridge that gap with what is happening on the ground and bring in that financing.’ The launch took place at Lloyd’s of London and the pair said it has been met with a great deal of interest from both the insurance industry and investors. Alan Rutherford, chairman of Narec, said it has been set up its commercial arm to help capital markets access its technical capabilities.
TWC splits to form EIG Global Energy Partners
Matrix launches two VCTs for green projects
The Energy & Infrastructure Group of US investment manager Trust Company of the West (TWC) has spun-out to form independent investment company EIG Global Energy Partners. EIG will start operations with more than $8.5bn under management, and will continue its focus as a specialist investor in energy infrastructure projects and companies on a global basis. The new firm is based in Washington, with US additional offices in Houston and New York, as well as global offices in London, UK and Sydney, Australia. ‘EIG is proud to have what we believe to be the longest continuous track-record of any institutional investor in energy and we’re pleased that we can now continue that record as an independent firm,’ said EIG’s CEO R Blair Thomas. ‘The demand for capital in the sector is huge and we believe we are uniquely positioned to capture the opportunities this demand creates due to our global platform, track record, and ability to invest in all aspects of the energy value chain.’
Investment specialist Matrix is aiming to raise £25m to launch two venture capital trusts (VCT) to commit capital to companies developing renewable power projects. Each VCT has already received reservations for investment, which in aggregate total £10.5m, and will divide total funds equally between the investment vehicles. The primary investment objective of both companies, Matrix said, is to generate attractive long-term levels of income by investing the majority of net proceeds in companies developing clean energy projects. It said these will be predominantly industrial rooftop solar energy projects in the UK and potentially Europe. Each will aim to pay shareholders average annual dividends of 6.5 pence per share – from year one to five – subscribed at £1 per share. Matrix has already negotiated to secure exclusive opportunities for solar energy projects with distribution warehouse developer Gazeley. In addition, it has highlighted the UK government’s feed-in tariffs that provide subsidies to installations of sub-5MW projects. Rupert Lywood, director and cofounder of Matrix, said the two VCTs offer attractive investment opportunities, particularly for an income investor. ‘The investment case for renewable energy is substantial. Solar photovoltaic technology is a well-proven and reliable technology,’ he said. ‘The availability of the UK government’s solar photovoltaic feed-in tariff launched in April 2010, underpins the long-term revenues for our UK rooftop solar photovoltaic projects and make investing in these projects an attractive proposition.
Global Energy Investors closes its inaugural fund Massachusetts, US-based project equity firm Global Energy Investors is set to close the first round of its inaugural infrastructure, renewable energy-focused fund, by the end of the first fiscal quarter. The fund is structured to make its final close, which is targeted at $200m, a year after the first close. This means it may close by the end of 2011, according to the group’s managing director and CEO David Richardson. He said, ‘The final close is anticipated this year based on market sentiment.’ The previous head of project development at southern Californiafocused wind developer Mark Technologies said the group is optimistic about the value of the first close and raising its final target. He added that the fund’s target market of US life and property insurers has been positively taken with renewable energy investment, as it offers an attractive alternative to traditional investment funds. The ap-
David Richardson, CEO, GEI
peal of the fund’s renewable energy infrastructure investment focus is that the opportunities presented by it are similar to those presented by fixed income securities that pay a coupon. ‘Insurance companies are interested in investments that offer investment income,’ he said. As an infrastructure fund, the group’s first fund will own operating wind and solar projects, which are many utilities and generate immediate cash flow from the sale of power under long-term arrangements.
For the latest news on public and private equity fund activity, as well as updates and information on new investors in the green sector, go to www.NewEnergyWorldNetwork.com
Feed-in tariffs make 2010 hottest year yet for UK solar services provider E.ON and supermarket giant Tesco have taken up the opportunity to sell solar packages, along with a host of smaller suppliers. The potential returns are so high that some companies are offering free installation of solar panels in return for a cut of future earnings. ‘The government was not going to provide any upfront capital. It wanted instead to encourage innovative solutions from the private sector and this is exactly what we are seeing,’ said Stuart Pocock of the UK’s Renewable Energy Association. FITs are costly for governments, as they compensate utilities for the money
Scottish projects to reap benefits of EU funding
Green climate fund key achievement of Cancún
Over a third of an £18m cash grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for Scotland’s Highlands and Islands will be set aside for four renewable projects, the regional government has said. The Orkney Islands are to receive £3.36m to develop infrastructure for facilities linked to the European Marine Energy Centre. That will include support for a marine energy service base at Hatson. The ERDF has set aside £2.5m towards the development of marine renewable port infrastructure, including a large lay-down area, lifting pad, lighting and security, at Scrabster Harbour near Thurso on the north coast of Scotland. Low Carbon Shetland will receive £800,000 for the development of thermal storage to support renewables – essentially hot water tanks which can accept electrical energy at a time that suits the grid. This hot water is then used for heating schemes in properties.
they pay out to electricity producers, but many in the industry see them as the best way stimulate the uptake of distributed solar power. ‘Feed-in tariffs have been successful for triggering substantial dissemination in all countries where they have been introduced,’ according to a report by the Vienna-based Energy Economics Group and the UK’s IT Power produced for the EU. ‘They have proven to be the preferable national instrument for significant development of renewable energy systems. The major advantage of a feed-in tariff is that it is effective, flexible, fast and easy to establish, and to abandon if there are difficulties.’
Figures from Ofgem, the UK energy regulator, show that 42MW of solar power were installed in 2010, a tenfold increase on the 4MW levels seen in 2008 and 2009. The installations, covering 16,000 commercial and residential properties, have been driven by feed-in tariffs (FITs) that became available on 1 April 2010. The tariffs require utilities to pay small-scale renewable energy producers for any excess electricity they produce, which can be exported back to the grid. At 41p per KWh, the rates paid to small-scale producers are about eight times market electricity prices. Big companies such as energy
S&P believes the Cancún agreements may lead to an increase in transfer of low-carbon technology to developing countries
The agreement to develop a Green Climate fund to channel finance and transfer technology to poorer countries was one of the key accomplishments of the recent United Nations Cancún summit in Mexico, according to Standard & Poor’s. The fund will function with oversight from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is due to feature a board with equal representation of industrialised and developing economies. ‘Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services believes the Cancún agreements, which were adopted by 193 countries present at the two-week talks, may lead to progress toward less deforestation, an increased rate of transfer of low-carbon technology to developing countries, and the establishment of a Green Climate Fund that’s potentially worth up to $100bn per year with the aim of helping developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change,’ the ratings agency said.
Hillary Clinton highlighted the UAE’s investment in solar and wind energy
Developing sustainable energy sources is especially significant in the Persian Gulf region, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said when visiting Masdar City in Abu Dhabi during a speech in which she underlined the importance of the relationship between the two regions. She said the region was continuing its leading role as an oil producer, but also investing in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. ‘How do we develop sustainable energy sources that can power our cities without contributing to climate change? How do we create technologies that are scalable, and both use less power and are widely affordable?’ Clinton said. ‘Now these challenges are pressing across the world, but they are especially significant here in the Gulf. We know that oil supplies are shrinking, water tables decline. The old strategies for growth and prosperity and growth will no longer work. For too many people in too many places, the status quo today is unsustainable, and the UAE is leading our work and the path we must take into the future.’
India quadruples renewables target with 72GW by 2022 India has raised its renewable energy targets fourfold, aiming for 72.4GW installed by 2022. It also says it hopes to reduce emissions intensity – carbon emissions per unit of GDP – by 20 to 25 per cent of 2005 levels in the next ten years. The country’s plans specify a target of 20GW of solar power by 2022, including 2GW off-grid distributed solar capacity, and 20 million square metres of solar thermal projects by 2022.
The installation of 184MW of solar capacity 2011 has already been finalised, while contracts for a further 620MW have been awarded and tenders for 300MW more are to be launched in early 2011. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, launched in January last year, has a mandate to oversee the country’s uptake of solar power. The group hopes to achieve grid parity by 2022 and parity with coal-based thermal power, currently India’s major energy source, by 2030.
UK pledges carbon price floor and energy reforms A carbon price floor and providing longterm certainty for low carbon energy generators are key elements of the UK government’s reforms which it announced in December. These will be deployed in the aim of transforming the country’s power sector. In addition, it will phase out the Renewables Obligation that has been a key part of providing finance to the country’s renewable energy industry. A greater long-term certainty around the additional cost of running a polluting plant has been provided through a carbon price floor and a ‘contract for difference’ feed-in tariff has been proposed for lowcarbon generation, as two of four major reforms. In addition, payments will be made to encourage the construction of reserve plants or demand reduction measures through a ‘capacity mechanism’, to ensure a safety cushion remains as the amount of intermittent supply – through the adoption of renewables – increases. Last of the four key reforms, is a backstop limit on how much fossil fuel power stations can emit. The government will issue an emissions performance standard to reinforce the existing requirement that no new coal is built without carbon capture and storage. In addition, changes to the renewables obligation have also been published in December. Under the new proposals, the government will introduce phased support for offshore wind, and generators will be able to register up to five phases of turbines over a maximum of five years. In addition, it will introduce mandatory reporting against greenhouse gas and land sustainability criteria for solid and gaseous biomass, and mandatory sustainability criteria for bioliquids in accordance with the Renewable Energy Directive. Chris Huhne, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said, ‘These reforms lay the foundations for a sustainable economy, bringing billions in investment in the UK through greater certainty, safeguarding jobs up and down the supply chain, and giving the UK real competitive advantage in advanced energy technologies.’
US, UAE co-operation underscored by Clinton
Taiwan to invest $1.47bn in R&D for renewable energy The government of Taiwan is reportedly set to invest $838m in promoting renewable energy and a further $635m in its research and development in the next five years. The country’s government also hopes to garner $200bn in private investment into the sector, according to recent reports. The government of Taiwan has set a target to increase energy efficiency by two per cent each year until 2020. It also plans to lower carbon emissions to their 2005 level in the same timeframe, with the public sector expected to reach seven per cent emissions reductions before 2015. In December, the government estimated that energy conservation action plans are expected to generate $11.3bn and create around 18,000 jobs. Renewable energy now accounts for 6.8 per cent of Taiwan’s electricity usage, according to the country’s Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Germany’s reduction of solar FITs was ‘wrong’ decision The reduction of the feed-in tariff the German government awards solar projects in the country in 2010 was the wrong decision to take and there are fears that these rates may be cut even more, according to one industry figure. Ralf Heidenreich, spokesperson for Germany-based project developer juwi, said, ‘It is no longer possible to get any fees for solar installations on farmland in Germany, which in our view was the wrong move as this is the cheapest form of solar energy. He said he predicts the government will put down the feed-in tariffs awarded to other types of installation – for example building integrated photovoltaics – even further in 2010. ‘It is important to have some cuts, but on the other hand not to make these cuts too strong as you will be harming a very interesting future market.’
Egypt unveils wind energy ambitions
Egypt aims to build wind farms around the Gulf of Suez
Egypt will aim to kick-start its renewable energy industry by setting a target of generating 12 per cent of its entire power from wind over the next five years. According to reports, the country’s Electricity Minister Hassen Yunes said he will aim for 2,690MW of wind power to be installed in the country between now and 2016. Working in co-operation with the European Union, financial institutions in Germany and the government of Japan, Egypt aims to construct wind farms largely around the Gulf of Suez, news agency AFP said. In July, the government revealed it
also planned to build a 1GW solar plant by 2017, that will cost in the order of $700m. A tender for this was launched later in the year. Early signs in 2011 indicate that the country is taking the adoption of renewable energy very seriously and Solar Millennium subsidiary Flagsol launched a hybrid solar thermal project 100km south of Cario, that is expected to provide a foundation for future investment into similar projects in the region. The €250m facility is the first hybrid solar thermal project in the North African country and is set to supply uninterrupted power to its grid early this year.
UK, China pledge to co-operate towards low carbon growth Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang and UK Prime Minister David Cameron have announced a memorandum of understanding, which signals the two countries will co-operate on low-carbon strategies. Earlier, Li’s arrival in Edinburgh, Scotland accompanied a £6.4m waste-to-energy deal between Scottish and Sino-Scottish companies. The agreement follows a visit by Cameron and Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Huhne to China last year, with what was the largest ever UK political and business delegation to visit the country. Relations between the two countries have begun to thaw, after a chilly spell when China executed a British man convicted of smuggling drugs in 2009. The UK China Low Carbon Co-operation (LCC) aims to strengthen the exchange of policy expertise between the UK and China’s Low Carbon pilot scheme. It embraces the fields of low-carbon planning, use of market mechanisms – including emissions accounting and trading, and wider low carbon policy frameworks and analysis to encourage low-carbon development and energy efficiency – and low carbon standards, low-carbon labelling and procurement.
California carbon trading market gets the go-ahead
Algeria to raise energy target to 40 per cent
California’s carbon emissions trading programme has been given the green light by a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has endorsed cap-and-trade legislation in the state, which will set a statewide limit on emissions and establishes a carbon price. The cap-and-trade programme is expected to drive green jobs in the state and help reduce emissions under California’s AB 32 climate change law, which was signed in by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2006. The scheme will be split into two phases, including an initial period starting in 2012 where the regulation will apply to industrial power sources and utilities, the state government said. A second phase from 2015 onwards will also incorporate transportation fuel distributors. The state government said the programme will provide a model for a federal carbon trading scheme and position California’s economy on a global stage. It is designed to make companies supply enough carbon allowances to cover their annual emissions, without putting specific limits on their emissions.
Oil-rich Algeria has raised the renewable energy bar by setting a goal to derive 40 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, local media has reported. The North African country’s Energy and Mines Minister Youcef Yousfi reportedly said it is looking to generate between 2.5 and 3GW of renewable power in 2020, according to local media. Whether the country will stick to its raised target on a backdrop of increasingly profitable oil and gas markets remains to be seen. Algeria’s oil and gas revenues have already increased by a quarter above 2009 levels, hitting $55.7bn in 2010; but this was on a reduced volume of fossil fuel exports. The country’s government is now hoping to generate revenue from the export of alternative energy, including nuclear power, according to Minister Yousfi.
US injects $184m into vehicle technology The US Department of Energy (DOE) is to provide $184m to accelerate the development and deployment of new efficient vehicle technologies. The funding opportunity looks to advance technologies required to achieve large-scale adoption of plug-in electric hybrids and electric vehicles. Although the first next generation of electric drive vehicles is now entering the market, advancements in batteries, power electronics and lightweight materials are required for the industry to be fully competitive, the DOE said. It has made a bid call for projects spanning the power drive technology spectrum from advanced materials, combustion research, hybrid electric systems and fleet efficiency, to fuel technology. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, ‘Investments in the next generation of vehicle technologies are laying the groundwork for a sustainable transportation sector in the US that strengthens our economy and improves our
South Korea to invest $891m in renewable energy in 2011
Steven Chu, US Energy Secretary
economic competitiveness.’ This latest US call for bids invites applications from developers of advanced fuel, lightweight materials, advanced battery cells and advanced power electronics. It is also open to developers of vehicle testing, engine and fleet efficiency technology.
South Korea’s government announced in January that it will increase the level of financing for new and clean energy in 2011 by around a quarter. The government has pledged to invest 1tn won ($891.2m) in renewable energy investment this year, compared with 808bn won last year, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said. A fifth of this investment will be used to establish up to five testing bases for wind and solar technology. South Korea’s President Lee Myungbak said that the country expects renewable energy exports to be nearly ten times higher in 2015 than in 2009, according to Reuters.
For the latest developments in global policy and regulation in the clean energy sector, go to www.NewEnergyWorldNetwork.com
LISTED COMPANY RESULTS
listed company results
Sabien forecasts record H1 sales and orders
Energy efficiency technology manufacturer Sabien is preparing to announce record sales and order intake for the six month fiscal interim period that closed in December. The company disclosed that it expects to be profitable at a post-tax level for the six-months that ended in December, the first half of its fiscal calendar year. It maintains a bullish outlook for the year, as demand for retrofit technology is on the increase as demonstrated by its rich prospective pipeline for the coming year. The company’s order book for the fiscal year to date stands at around £1.4m and it continues to see a strong order intake, with what it describes as an ‘excellent pipeline’ for the following year. The company reports increasing solidified interest in its M2G energy efficiency technology platform from companies forming energy efficiency strategies. ‘There is now a growing momentum in the energy efficiency market for products such as M2G from potential commercial customers who have investigated the alternatives and set out their energy efficiency strategy,’ said Sabien founder and CEO Alan O’Brien. He added that the board has confidence that Sabien is in a ‘strong position’ due to the rapid payback and cost savings of its products. O’Brien founded the UK-based company in early 2004, which then floated on the London Stock Exchange AIM market two years later. Its M2G product is specifically designed to cut fuel consumption in commercial boilers by responding to load demand, and is marketed to private and public organisations looking to reduce carbon emissions.
Amtech generates record Q1 revenue Global automation system supplier Amtech Systems has preliminarily revealed that it generated record revenue and bookings for the financial quarter that closed in December, racking up a record future order backlog of $172m. Its first quarter revenue of $52m, $45m of which derived from solar products, represented a 14 per cent rise above the previous quarter and a 235 per cent increase above the equivalent period of the previous year. The company’s revenues look likely to continue to grow in the next financial quarter and beyond, as it accrued record bookings of $134m during the quarter, $126m of which are for solar products. The company attributes its high volume of solar orders and sales to its solar diffusion technology, used in the diffusion stage of fabricating solar cells and semiconductors.
Its lines of thermal processing and solar wafer handling equipment are designed to address the oxidation, deposition and diffusion steps of producing solar products. Amtech CEO J Whang said, ‘Our strong preliminary revenue for the first quarter further demonstrates our technology leadership in high efficiency solar diffusion and our operational capability. ‘With our continued success in expanding our solar market share with an increasing number of top tier solar customers, we recorded a record number of orders, and continue to ramp up operations to support our record-breaking backlog and profitably manage our rapid growth.’ Amtech, which is due to release its full and final quarterly financial results in early February, made clear that these first quarter results are subject to change as a result of its quarterly close procedures.
Impax Asset Management sees profits double in 2010 Cleantech-focused investment manager Impax Asset Management, listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market, said its assets under management were up 44 per cent for the fiscal year that ended 30 September 2010. Impax’s assets under management rose to £1.82bn, from £1.26bn in 2009, and increased further to £2.25bn by the end of the calendar year. Revenues were up 48 per cent to £15.3m, from £10.4m in 2009, while pre-tax profits rose from £2.5m to £5.2m, boosted by £1m from the redemption of a loan note. Earnings per share were up 33 per cent to 3.5 pence. The company has proposed a dividend of 0.60 pence per share with a record date of 11 February 2011 and payment around a month later. Long-only listed equity strategies managed by Impax have, on average, returned 69.3 per cent over the five years to 31 December 2010. ‘Evidence continues to build that the environmental sector is growing more rapidly than the overall economy, and Impax is ideally positioned to build its base of institutional clients who are interested in allocating capital to this area,’ said Keith Falconer, the firm’s chairman. Impax administers a number of cleantech-oriented investment funds focused on different asset classes, including listed equities, venture capital and infrastructure. The firm incorporated a Hong Kong-based subsidiary in October, seeking to tap into the growth of Asian markets. It is currently waiting for a licence as an asset manager from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.
LISTED COMPANY RESULTS
South Korea-based ultracapacitor developer and manufacturer Nesscap Energy has finalised its listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), making it the first Koreabased company to list on the Canadian exchange. The listing was completed by global clean technology asset management group I2BF, the parent of flagship venture capital fund I2BF Holdings, which counts Nesscap in its portfolio, following a reverse takeover. I2BF, which has also invested in convertible notes of Nesscap Energy concurrent with the listing, said it is expected to enhance Nesscap’s partnership and international growth prospects. Nesscap Energy specialises in developing energy solutions for the transportation, industrial power and renewable energy sectors. Its ultracapacitor products are used in a variety of applications, ranging from portable electronic devices to hi-tech green cars. Ilya Golubovich, founder and managing director of I2BF, said, ‘We believe that Nesscap Energy will remain a strong investment proposition in the coming years, as it continues its global expansion. This listing on the TSX Venture Exchange will be integral to the business’s growth into new international markets, while providing increased exposure to new commercial and strategic partnership opportunities.’ He said the listing has positioned Nesscap openly in a market that is anticipated to value it and its growth prospects. Benefits of the listing include providing the company with access to a reputable trading platform, raising its visibility and giving it a platform for geographic expansion and strategic partnerships.
Energy storage business ITM Power sees pre-tax losses drop to £3m Energy storage and clean fuels company ITM Power has recorded pre-tax loss as £3m for the sixmonth period ending 31 October 2010. The loss was slightly down on the £3.4m recorded for the equivalent period in 2009, while cash and short-term investments stood at £14.7m, also down ITM’s product drive will start in February on the £19.5m for the same period the year before. In addition, it had a net cash burn of £2.3m and grant funding for the period of £536,000. Professor Roger Putnam, non-executive chairman of ITM Power, said, ‘When I last commented on the developments at ITM, we had just come through a very challenging period, during which we had instituted, and implemented the conclusions of, a thorough review of the company’s technology, potential markets and commercialisation strategy. ‘I am pleased to be reporting now on the progress of that commercialisation and the first delivery of ITM products.’ The company said its product sales drive will start in earnest this February and 21 commercial partners have now joined trials of its technology.
Emerging market companies to the fore in HSBC Index Review Global emerging markets significantly outperformed developed markets in the climate change sector, according to recent findings from the HSBC Climate Change Index Review. Brazil’s position in the index improved the greatest, increasing by 18 per cent, closely followed by South Africa, which rose 12 per cent. These emerging market results compare favourably to Europe’s 8.2 per cent drop in the index. HSBC primarily attributed the outperformance to larger stimulus spending on tackling climate change. China was the leader in its climate stimulus spending, allocating one-anda-half times more than the US. Europe’s expenditure has dropped largely on the back of regulatory uncertainty for emissions reduction, and cuts to the wind and solar feed-in tariffs, HSBC said. HSBC’s global head of quantitative equities research Joaquim de Lima said, ‘While many people focus on how the developed markets are tackling climate change, our research shows that this is not where success lies. ‘Global emerging markets are actively allocating funds to addressing climate change at a national level and this is acting as a major boost to the sector.’ The HSBC study parallels global trends with regards to energy efficiency, which looks set to remain the largest beneficiary of climate stimulus and to continue to grow next year, by its estimation. HSBC Global Research index specialist Vijay Sumon said, ‘Clients have often seen [energy efficiency] as a ‘no risk’ option: efficiency making sense to investors regardless of any climate change concerns.’
listed listedcompany companyresults results
Nesscap becomes first South Korean company to list on TSX in Canada
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REA’s Ray Noble joins mO3 Power’s board Solar photovoltaics (PV) specialist Ray Noble has joined UK-based solar developer and independent power producer mO3 Power as a non-executive director. Currently a PV expert at the Renewable Energy Association (REA), Noble was a member of the UK government’s renewable advisory board from 2001 to 2006, and has been a member of north east England’s Energy Leadership Council since 2007. He was also an associate director of building engineering at Arup until 1999, where he was largely responsible for developing the company’s involvement with building integrated PV (BIPV). Noble later became UK manager of BP Solar, developing the use of the company’s products on buildings, where he was instrumental in organising the BP Solar and Romag partnership to develop and manufacture BIPV products. He then assisted in the development of the Narec PV Technology laboratories in Northumberland, and designed many of their extensive BIPV demonstration projects in both the UK and Europe. In 2006, Noble founded Solar BIPV PV Consultancy to provide technical support to customers in the application of BIPV.
ChapDrive chooses ex-Scania Wind chairman to head board Wind transmission-focused university spin-out ChapDrive has appointed former chairman of Scania Wind, Pål Engebretsen, as chairman of its board of directors. Engebretsen will replace Tellef Thorleifsson in the role as board chairman, who will continue as board member. Currently the CEO of Norwegian maritime industrial group Bergen Group, Engebretsen was also formerly deputy CEO of Norwegian energy utility NTE. He was also previously chairman of wind project developer Sarepta Energi, and deputy chairman of power company Eurokraft Norge. Founded in late 2006 as a spin-out of The Department of Energy and
Process Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, ChapDrive is based in Trondheim, Norway. The company has developed a patented system for hydraulic transmission in wind turbines and its backers include Norwegian technologyfocused venture fund Viking Ventures, Norway-based cleantech and maritime investor Investinor, NorthZone Ventures, Hafslund Venture and Energy Capital Management. Its board of directors now includes Torben Bjerre-Madsen, alongside Thorleifsson, Joachim Cock, Marianne Blaauw, Jostein Vik and Steinar Fossen, in addition to the newly-appointed chairman.
Wellington Partners hires new partner focused on cleantech Venture capital firm Wellington Partners has appointed Jigar Shah, CEO of the Carbon War Room, as a partner in its technology investment team. Shah founded SunEdison in 2003 which pioneered selling solar as a service and recently interconnected the largest single-operating photovoltaic power plant in Europe, a 70MW installation in north-east Italy. Shah will support Wellington’s two technology investment hubs in London and Munich. Since 1998, the team has invested in more than 100 European companies and its recent capital commitments include cleantech companies Azzurro Semiconductors LED developer GLO.
Samsung geoscientist appointed to Caldera board Caldera Geothermal has appointed Zohrab Mawani of Samsung C&T to its board of directors, in preparation for the company’s upcoming equity offering. Mawani has been active in company development, as well as mergers and acquisitions in the wind, solar, biomass and hydro industries for almost ten years. Since 2009, he has headed Canadian business development activities in renewable energy for Samsung C&T. His current focus is implementation of the 2.5GW Green Energy Investment
Zohrab Mawani, Samsung
Agreement between the government of Ontario, Canada, Samsung C&T and
Korea Electric Power Corporation. In his previous role at Ventus Energy from 2004 to 2009, Mawani played a key role in the development of several utility-scale wind farms in Canada. Three of these are now in operation and the West Cape Wind Farm (99MW), in early 2007, became the first Canadian wind energy facility to export power to the US. He is a professional geoscientist who studied geographic information systems at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in 1995.
Reed Smith bolsters its energy and natural resources practice
Stefan Schmitz, partner, Reed Smith
Schmitz is the seventh partner to join Reed Smith’s energy and natural
Former marketing chief Motta to guide SG Biofuels’ growth Bioenergy crop company SG Biofuels, which develops ‘elite’ jatropha seeds, has appointed former marketing director of agricultural group Monsanto’s EMEA businesses, Miguel Motta, as vice president of marketing and strategy. Motta will be responsible for directing the company’s marketing and business strategies, in order to guide its growth in key markets such as Latin America, India, China, South East Asia and Africa. ‘Motta’s vast experience driving global market expansion and revenue growth for Monsanto will be extremely beneficial, as we enter new markets and expand our product and service offerings,’ said SG Biofuels CEO Kirk Haney. As marketing director at Monsanto, a Fortune 500 provider of agricultural products, Motta developed and implemented product portfolio strategy, pricing and volume targets, distribution and brand strategy for projects in more than 30 countries.
RE&EE committee appoints geothermal leader as chair The recently created Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RE&EE) Advisory Committee, which was formed in the US to address the country’s plan for an RE&EE Export Initiative, has appointed a geothermal industry leader as its committee chair. After its first meeting, the committee has put an emphasis on strengthening its domestic renewable energy market as a platform for building an efficient
renewable energy export market. ‘There was a consensus that first we need to help decision makers understand that a strong domestic market is key to expanding US exports and that US leadership in these technologies will pay dividends in billions of dollars in new exports,’ said Karl Gawell, executive director of RE&EE. The committee aims to recommit the government to addressing trade barriers in the renewable energy sector.
resources practice in London in the last year. He follows the appointments of partners Gordon Bell, Peter Cassidy, Keith Hartley, Vincent Rowan, Sian Fellows and John Varholy. Kyri Evagora, Reed Smith partner, said, ‘The renewable energy market has developed significantly over the last few years and our clients are moving into new markets, in Central Europe, Latin America and Africa. ‘We’ve been growing our energy team over the last year to ensure we are able to serve our clients as they expand their businesses.’
Evergreen Solar appoints Donald Reilly as CFO Evergreen Solar has appointed Donald Reilly as it CFO as a permanent replacement to Michael El-Hillow who has been recently promoted to president and CEO. Paul Kawa who had been serving as interim CFO since September 2010 will resume his responsibilities as Evergreen Solar’s corporate controller. Reilly has served as senior financial officer at several multinational companies, most recently as CFO of GTECH, a subsidiary of Lottomatica. El-Hillow said, ‘[Reilly] will be a tremendous asset to Evergreen Solar during our next stage of growth, as we further leverage our low-cost manufacturing technology to produce String Ribbon wafers, and position us as a major supplier of PV solar technology into markets throughout Asia, Europe and North America.’
International law firm Reed Smith has announced the appointment of Stefan Schmitz to its energy & natural resources practice based in London. Schmitz, who was previously at McDermott Will & Emery, focuses on renewable energy (wind and solar energy in particular). He has been advising developers, investors, banks, manufacturers, utilities and government entities in the renewable energy market for almost ten years. His work includes mostly projects in Western and Central Europe, and the US, as well as Latin and Central America and Africa.
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Deal Radar provides coverage of prospective transactions that are of interest to our readership base of 5,000 investment and business professionals across the world.
Let the right people know. The Deal Radar section of Envirotech & Clean Energy Investor covers the growth and financing plans of dynamic companies and highlights prospective deals to prospective investors, business partners and customers amongst our readership base. Companies, projects and pipeline transactions that get coverage in this section gain valuable exposure across the global clean energy and technology community.
We publish stories on the growth and financing plans of dynamic private companies, prospective IPOs and established listed companies. We also cover announcements and plans for new and proposed projects. Our key criterion for publication is that the story is likely to be of high interest to our readers. Our aim is to provide the global clean energy sector’s community of investors, innovators and dealmakers with insights on the future direction of the industry and with exclusive details about deals on the horizon.
Funding Opportunity: Undisclosed Funding Type: Equity Timescale: 12 months
If you know of a company, project or deal that merits the attention of the industry’s leading and most active organisations and individuals, please contact Chris Hardman at:
Email: Deals@EnvirotechInvestor.com Phone: +44 (0)20 7845 7576
Company Profile: Founded in 1997, Norway-based Kebony develops technologies designed to enhance the properties of wood. The management team brings experience from previous roles in corporate finance, strategy consulting, chemical R&D and engineering. In 2007, Wood AS became the major shareholder in Kebony, which has subsequently received €12m from Environmental Technologies Funds and Naxos Investment Partners. Kebony has an international customer base, and in 2010 signed distribution agreements covering the UK, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Holland and Italy. Revenues grew by almost 100 per cent during 2010, according to CEO Christian Jebsen. The company also works in partnership with AB Tratek, Sweden’s Institute for Wood Research.
Funding Opportunity: Kebony plans to raise a new round of investment during 2011. The size of investment sought is currently under discussion, the company said. Technology: Kebony’s processes modify wood by forming stable, locked-in furan polymers in the wood cell walls, using liquids derived from agricultural crop waste. The process makes the treated wood durable, harder and more stable (reducing shrinkage and swelling by approximately 50 per cent, compared to untreated wood), thus providing a sustainable and costeffective alternative to sourcing hardwoods from tropical regions. The treated wood exhibits increased resistance to weather and wear as well as enhanced life span, while avoiding drawbacks associated with traditional impregnation methods. These products are suitable for a range of indoor and outdoor applications, while Kebony’s processes are patent-protected. Business Plan: Kebony plans to use new funding to expand its presence within markets such as the UK and Germany, as well as to enter new European markets. This will involve establishing further distributor agreements, as well as locally-based sales teams. The company is also currently investigating sales leads within the US. Source: Interview with management Contact: Christian Jebsen, CEO
DEAL RADAR Israel
Funding Opportunity: $5m Funding Type: Equity Timescale: 3 months Previous Funding: $4.5m
Company Profile: Founded in 2007, Israel-based TransBioDiesel develops and produces enzymes for use in biodiesel production. The company’s management team brings significant experience from previous roles in running technology start-ups, R&D, chemistry and biodiesel. To date, the company has received $4.5m in funding, including $1.5m from AquAgro and $2m from BIRD. The company has an existing revenue stream, with $200,000 sales to date. Transbiodiesel has established several collaborative partnerships with international enzyme companies, as well as a strategic partnership with US-based Purolite. The company also has six pilot plants operating in Canada, US, Singapore, Holland, Japan and Israel.
Funding Opportunity: Transbiodiesel is planning to raise $5m in equity over the next three months. The company envisages that this will be sufficient for it to generate revenues of $71m by 2015, with Europe and South America seen as particularly lucrative markets. It predicts reaching profitability by 2014.
Business Plan: Transbiodiesel plans to use new funding to commence construction of a production facility in Israel capable of producing up to 1,000 tonnes of enzyme per year. The factory should cost $1m to construct and should come online in late 2012 or early 2013, but will be partly finance through a bank loan. The company plans to enhance its patent portfolio throughout 2011, and will also establish pilot demonstration units in Japan, China and the US. It is envisaged that commercial sales will commence in Canada and Germany from Q3 2012, and in Japan and the US from Q1 2013. The funding will also cover new R&D to further optimise the company’s biocatalyst as well as develop applications within other markets. Transbiodiesel plans to partner with leading enzyme providers to leverage existing marketing channels and operational capabilities to achieve faster penetration into multiple markets. The company projects that 30 per cent of biodiesel produced by 2020 will use its enzymes. Source: Interview with management Contact: Dr Sobhi Basheer, CEO
Opportunity: Research/ distribution partnership Funding Type: Timescale: 6 months
Technology: Transbiodiesel has developed an environmentally-friendly and economically viable enzyme for the mass production of biodiesel. This technology modifies standard lipase enzymes to prevent their deactivation upon contact with short-chain alcohols such as methanol. The enzyme is non-toxic and can be used for up to 400 cycles, making it economically favourable when compared to chemical catalysts. Transbiodiesel’s technology also produces higher-grade glycerine as a by-product. The company claims that its enzyme works well on any feedstock, with no significant activity losses during processing of low-quality feedstock. Transbiodiesel holds one patent over its technology, with several more pending.
Company Profile: Founded in 2005 as a spin-out from Nextrom Oy, Finland-based Beneq develops and produces industrial and research equipment for thin film solar coatings. The management team brings expertise from previous roles involving international business management, commercialisation of technologies and project management. The company has previously received funding from Venture Partners and Inventure Oy. Beneq has sales offices located in Germany, China and the US, with a network of 34 sales representatives throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania and South America. The company experienced 100 per cent annual growth between 2006 and 2006, generating turnover of €7.5m in 2009.
Opportunity: Further fundraising is not currently planned, although the company would consider this option should the correct opportunity arise, such as for potential industry consolidation. Beneq is actively looking for partners in research and distribution, as well as supply chain to support its growth. Beneq predicts that it will generate revenues of €18.3m in 2011 and €34m in 2012, with a projected EBITDA of €5.4m. Technology: Beneq develops and produces atomic layer deposition and aerosol-coating technologies, which have applications within high-end R&D and demanding industrial environments. The company’s proprietary processes provide a precise and flexible thin-film coating method, using technologies that are scalable and more cost-effective than competing methods. Beneq’s technologies have applications within the solar energy (photovoltaic and thermal), optical, flat glass, flexible electronics, medical and lighting sectors, and are protected by approximately 70 patent families. Business Plan: Beneq is in the process of developing several new products with applications within the solar energy sector, and plans to bring these to market over the course of 2011 and 2012. The plan in the short term is to grow in the selected focus areas, such as solar energy, where the company has identified growth potential with large industrial customers. After two to three years, the company may undertake an IPO or industrial exit. Source: Interview with management Contact: Sampo Ahonen, CEO www.EnvirotechInvestor.com
DEAL RADAR Estonia
Opportunity: Strategic Partnerships Funding Type: Equity Timescale: 24 months
Company Profile: Founded in 2001, Estonia-based Elcogen develops and produces solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). The management team brings experience from a number of previous roles relating to R&D in biophysics and chemical physics. To date, the company has received €4.2m in funding, comprising €1m from local shareholders, €2.5m from Finland-based VNT Management and €0.7m grant funding from Enterprise Estonia. The company also has a strong working relationship with the Institute of Physical Chemistry at the University of Tartu, as well as the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics in Tallinn.
Funding Opportunity: Elcogen may raise additional equity funding in 2012 and is open to strategic partnerships in fuel cell industry. Technology: Elcogen is developing cost-effective, scalable and sustainable SOFCs, which incorporate proprietary materials and processes developed by the company. The company developed a laboratory prototype in 2008 and in 2010 produced its first test batches. Elcogen’s fuel cells have been tested by VTT, a research institute in Finland, with industry-leading results, said the company. This technology is especially suited for use within small to medium-sized stationary appliances generating power or co-generating power and heat. Elcogen has one pending international, US and EU patent application.
Business Plan: Fine-tuning of the production process will continue throughout Q1 2011, after which Elcogen expects to make its first sales. On completion of this process, the company plans to move beyond the production of single SOFCs to fuel cell stacks. Elcogen plans to undertake joint research and development on this project with selected research institutions and companies based in Finland. Ultimately, Elcogen plans to become one of the leading SOFC core component suppliers to power system manufacturers. Source: Interview with management Contact: Kristel Tumm
Funding Opportunity: $10m Funding Type: Equity Timescale: 6 months
Cyclone Power Technologies
Company Profile: Cyclone Power Technologies, founded in 2004, develops high-performance modern steam engines. Significant clients include Raytheon Company and Renovalia Energy, a licensee of Cyclone’s technology for solar thermal applications. The company’s technology team includes two former senior engineers at Lockheed Martin and a former senior engineer at NASA, while CEO Harry Schoell has been developing engines and propulsion systems since the early 1970s. Cyclone is listed on the Pink Sheets (CYPW), with a current market valuation of approximately $20m. Since inception, the company has raised $4m of private investment over two rounds, comprising $1m from angel investors, and $3m from outside investors.
Funding Opportunity: The company is planning to raise $10m in equity financing and licensing opportunities from synergistic partners, private investors or investment funds over the next 12 months. The company is particularly interested in talking with engine manufacturers, automotive companies, engineering firms and alternative energy companies or funds. Technology: Cyclone Engines are high performance steam engines (external combustion engines), that run on virtually any fuel or external heat source, and produce fewer greenhouse gases than internal combustion engines, according to the company. They are designed for mobile or distributed power applications, and the company claim that they are powerful and compact enough for applications including electric power generators, automobiles, solar thermal and waste heat recovery. Cyclone holds multiple patents in the US, EU, China, Russia, Korea, South Africa and Indonesia. Business Plan: Cyclone said that it will use this funding in order to hire additional engineers, mechanics and technical personnel, as well as to complete the production of its prototype engines. The company also plans to expand its development facility, acquire machinery to provide in-house prototyping of parts and components, continue its aggressive patent strategy in order to achieve worldwide protection and market the Cyclone Engines to prospective licensees, manufacturers and partners. Source: Interview with management Contact: Frankie Fruge, COO & Director
Tel: +1 954 943 8721
DEAL RADAR Finland
Funding Opportunity: €4m ($5.47m) Funding Type: Equity Timescale: 6 months Previous Funding: €1m
Company Profile: Founded in 2008, Finland-based MetGen develops enzymes with applications within a range of industries, including biofuel production and waste water treatment. The company’s management team brings experience from previous roles in start-up development, bioengineering and cleantech-focused venture capital, as well as from leadership positions within international life science companies. To date, the company has received €1m funding, with the founders comprising the major shareholders. Metgen is currently in talks with a number of industrial customers, it said.
Funding Opportunity: Metgen is planning to raise €4m in equity over the next six months. The company believes that this will offer a return on investment of over 30 per cent within three to five years, and envisages a turnover of €18m by 2015.
Business Plan: Metgen plans to use new funding to commercialise its pulp enzyme, strengthen its sales force and accelerate the development of its technology for the biofuel sector. This will initially involve developing enzymes for use in the delignification stage of biofuel production that is heat-stable, tolerant to extreme pH levels and with high catalytic efficiency. Work has started on this, with initial field trials underway. On completion of this process, the company will then develop enzymes for the treatment of domestic sewage or industrial waste. The company ultimately plans to undertake direct customer sales of enzymes customised to fit the specific demands of a given chemical process, and has targets of producing two new enzymes per year. Metgen envisages exiting through a trade sale to a global industrial enzyme or biofuel producer within the next three to five years. Source: Interview with management Contact: Alex Michine, CEO
Funding Opportunity: $60m Funding Type: Debt/Equity Timescale: 6 months
Technology: MetGen develops and produces genetically modified laccases, eco-friendly enzymes that break down lignin. Naturally-occurring laccases are expensive to produce in industrial quantities and unsuited to harsh industrial conditions, where they may be exposed to high temperatures and fluctuations of pH level. The company’s ‘Metzyme Laccase’ is thermostable (up to 80 degrees Celsius), pH tolerant (from pH 3 to 9) and cost-effective, making them suitable for use in industrial applications. Use of this technology leads to energy saving during the pulping process in paper manufacturing, reduced costs and improved yield in production of bioethanol from cellulosic waste and purification of water from phenolic compounds and lignin. The technology has been successfully trialled at a large pulp and paper mill, said the company. MetGen estimates that its technology will enable paper mills to save €3m on reduced energy consumption each year, with no capital investment or process change required. Preparation is currently under way for the first patent application.
Company Profile: Incorporated in 1988, Ontario-based Comsatec is an energy management company specialising in industrial and large commercial operations as well as the procurement and management of natural gas and electricity. The management team brings expertise in planning, power plant engineering and electricity/gas facility management. The company is also working in partnership with several consultants with experience in the construction and operation of biomass power plants. Comsatec’s existing customer base covers the pulp and paper industry, as well as steel and chemical producers.
Funding Opportunity: Comsatec is planning to raise a total of $60m, comprising approximately $12m equity and $48m debt. The company predicts that payback of the equity portion of this will take place within five years, and payback of the debt within 15. Technology: Comsatec is planning to construct a 20MW biomass energy plant that will use fuel sourced from sawmills (bark, sawdust and wood chips) within 100km of the project, which will be located in eastern Ontario. The plant will utilise a fluidised bed boiler with a steam turbine, and is due to commence operation by late 2013. The operating schedule is planned for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with minimal downtime allowed for maintenance. Business Plan: Comsatec plans to use new funds primarily for the planning and construction of the power plant and estimates that total equipment costs will be $33.5m, with construction likely to cost almost $14m. The company envisages that planning and permitting processes will continue into Q2 2011, with construction of the plant likely to commence in Q1 2012 and commercial operation expected by late 2013. Source: Interview with management Contact: Paul Waqué
DEAL RADAR Israel
Funding Opportunity: $7m Funding Type: Equity Timescale: 6 months
Company Profile: Founded in 1975, Israel-based Aquatal develops and produces water treatment technologies. The management team brings over 25 years of experience within the water treatment sector, as well as ecpertise from previous roles in sales, marketing and business development. The company has a presence within China, the US and Spain, and has established several agreements with distributors around the world. Aquatal is currently building a logistics centre in China, which will include a warehouse, assembly line and R&D lab. Aquatal has been self-funded to date.
Funding Opportunity: Aquatal is planning to raise $7m in equity investment over the next six months. The company predicts that this investment will enable it to generate turnover of $135m over the next five years. Technology: Aquatal develops and manufactures a range of water-related technologies. These include water dispensers incorporating various levels of filtration, anti-limescale filtration mechanisms for central plumbing systems and Air Water, a system that produces water from humidity in the air with no requirement for connection to the water network. The company holds several patents on its designs. Business Plan: Aquatal plans to use new investment to fund further international expansion, through establishing at least three international subsidiaries. Expansion efforts will place a particular focus on Asia, the UK and South America. The company also plans to pursue greater penetration within the US. Funding will also cover significant marketing activities, including direct TV/internet advertising, as well as the development of distribution networks within new markets. Aquatal also plans to continue to further develop its range of water-related products. Source: Interview with management
Contact: Meir Gaon, Chief Business Manager
Funding Opportunity: £3.5 Funding Type: Equity Timescale: 6 months
Company Profile: Founded in 2008, UK-based 4NRG is a specialist R&D company that develops marine energy technologies. The management team brings experience from previous roles in start-ups, engineering, project management and marketing, while the company has been self-funded to date.
Funding Opportunity: 4NRG is planning to raise £3.5m in equity over the next six months. The company envisages that it can reach turnover of £82.3m by 2015, with an EBITDA of £24.07m. Technology: 4NRG’s Coastal Erosion Eliminator (CEE) combines both a near shore wave and tidal energy generator with a method for protecting exposed coasts from erosion. This creates a method of defending valuable shoreline that can fund itself through the renewable energy it generates. The CEE device utilises mature technology (the Savonius rotor) and deploys it in a novel and efficient way, said the company. Relatively small devices of six to 10 metres in width will be strung together in arrays, 50-100 metres offshore, and will take energy from both wave and tidal movements. These arrays would be deployed below the high water mark to minimise their visual impact. The device also reduces the speed of water, leading to shoreline accretion of sediment which will in turn create stable bays. Business Plan: 4NRG plans to use new funding to design, develop and deploy a full scale operational device into the North Sea and to set up the infrastructure of the business for full commercialisation. Around £500,000 will be required to do the first stage scale sea trials, computer modelling and flow tank testing, which will take place during Q1 and Q2 2011. A further £2.3m will be required to build and deploy a full-scale device into the North Sea, and around £700,000 for the first full year of commercial operation. The company said it has already secured a site for deployment of its prototype. Additional funds may be sought in order to develop the company as a commercial entity, a process that will include recruiting new members to the management team, as well as developing licensing agreements with potential partners in markets beyond northern Europe. Following deployment within the UK, the company plans to target other European markets. Source: Interview with management
Contact: Mark Aspinall, CEO
DEAL RADAR Sweden
Funding Opportunity: €1m-€2m ($1.36m -$1.7m) Funding Type: Equity Timescale: 3 months Previous Funding: €3m
Company Profile: Founded in 2009 as part of a management buy-out from speciality chemical producer Perstorp, Sweden-based Nexam develops, manufactures and markets cross-linking chemicals for use in the production of enhanced polymers. The management team brings experience from areas such as business development & research, production, quality & analysis, sales, supply chain, finance and M&A from global chemical and material companies. Five out of the eight Nexam employees hold PhDs, covering organic synthesis, polymer chemistry and technical analytical chemistry. The company said that it is currently in discussions with over 50 large companies, of which 20 Japanese ployimide producers and over 15 European and US producers are currently testing its technology. Nexam has also established two joint development agreements, with more in the pipeline. To date, the company has received approximately €3m from private investors, and has previously received grant funding from VINNOVA, the Swedish state innovation organisation.
Technology: Using technology based on NASA research undertaken into composites for space applications, Nexam develops and supplies cross-linking chemicals for use in the production of a range of different polymers including polyimides (with applications in electronics) and thermoplastics (such as nylon). These can be tailored according to different processing requirements, so that customers can utilise these within existing processes and using current equipment. Nexam’s crosslinking system improves end material properties, such as chemical and thermal resistance and dimensional stability, said the company. Further, the production process yields no by-products. This technology allows development of low-cost materials with enhanced properties, for example enabling composites to replace metal components within automotive, aerospace and industrial applications. This technology also has applications within the electronics, solar and space sectors, among others. Nexam currently has several patents pending on its technologies. Business Plan: Nexam is currently selling sample volumes of its products and expects to generate its first larger scale commercial sales in Q2 2011. Test production of the company’s first commercial product has been completed in partnership with Nexam’s contract manufacturer, while additional products are being scaled-up for further market introductions. New funding would be used as bridge financing as the company undertakes these market introductions and the scale-up of production. The company plans to continue to apply an ‘asset light’ model through the use of different contract manufacturers in Europe. Nexam said that several different routes to exit exist, such as IPO or a trade sale of all or parts of the business, while investors can expect to exit within three to seven years. Source: Interview with management Contact: Per Morin, Managing Director
Funding Opportunity: Nexam may seek further funding of €1m-€2m during Q2 or Q3 this year, which the company believes will enable it to become cash-flow positive. The company is currently in talks with several Swedish VC firms, it said.
Are you looking for investors? New Energy World Network will host a number of exclusive clean energy-focused events throughout 2011, providing unparalleled opportunities for technology developers to network with prospective investors and business partners. Planned events include: - Marine Energy Business Forum - 10 May, London - Wind Energy Business Forum - 11 May, London - Solar Energy Business Forum - 21 June, London For more information or to register to attend, please go to www.newenergyworldnetwork.com/events. For more information about NewNet events or Deal Radar, please contact us via: Email: Deals@EnvirotechInvestor.com Phone: +44 (0)20 7845 7576
DEAL TRACKER A round-up of deals publicly announced in the past month from around the world, including venture capital investments, private equity transactions, flotations, refinancing, rights issues, mergers, acquisitions, project financings and major contracts.
ASIA China Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: RMB218m ($32.7m) Buyer: Hainan Century Light Investment
A-Power Energy Generation Systems
China-based A-Power Energy Generation Systems has entered into a RMB218m ($32.7m) deal to construct a straw-based biomass power plant in the country. The engineering, procurement and construction contract will see the biomass plant built in Baisha County in Hainan province for Hainan Century Light Investment. Based on the availability of straw resources, Hainan Century Light Investment will look to develop two straw boilers, each with 12MW of condensing steam turbines. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: Changzhou Trina Solar Energy
GCL Poly Energy
China’s fast-growing photovoltaic product developer Trina Solar has signed a long-term wafer and polysilicon supply agreement with GCL Poly Energy. The company, through its subsidiary Changzhou Trina Solar Energy, will receive wafers and polysilicon sufficient to produce about 7.5GW of modules over the next five years. Source: Company announcement
China Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: $240m Acquirers: The China Development Bank Capital, Excel Rise Holdings, Prosper East, China Construction Bank
A group of China-based investment funds have taken a $240m stake in a subsidiary of photovoltaic products manufacturer LDK Solar. The China Development Bank Capital – a wholly owned subsidiary of China Development Bank, Excel Rise Holdings and Prosper East investment funds affiliated with China Construction Bank, and an investment fund affiliated with another major Chinese bank have all made an investment into the solar behemoth. The deal sees the investors subscribe to an aggregate of $240m Series A redeemable convertible preferred shares of LDK Silicon, equating to about 18 per cent of the company. Source: Company announcement
China Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: ET Solar
Neo Solar Power (NSP)
Taiwan-based solar cell producer Neo Solar Power (NSP) has signed a 370MW agreement to supply Chinese firm ET Solar from the beginning of 2011 to end of 2013. Based in Hsinchu, Taiwan, NSP plans to ramp up its annual capacity to more than 1.2GW in 2011. ET Solar is a downstream solar power product manufacturer and turnkey solution service provider. Source: Company announcement
China Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: SAG Solarstrom
Yingli Green Energy
Global solar company Yingli Green Energy has secured a three-year sales contract, which will see it supply 220MW of photovoltaic (PV) modules to solar developer and system integrator SAG Solarstrom until 2013. The company is set to deliver solar modules from 2011, which will be installed in residential, commercial rooftop and ground-mounted power projects across the European markets that SAG operates in. Source: Company announcement
China Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: $3.1m Acquirer: Amiad
Yixing Taixing Environtec
Water filtration supplier Amiad has acquired the remaining 50 per cent of the shares of its Chinese subsidiary, Yixing Taixing Environtec for $3.1m. Israel-based Amiad has grown through a string of acquisitions, including fellow Israeli company Arkal Filtration Systems and India’s JSK Engineering. Source: Company announcement
ASIA (Continued) China Deal Type: Grant Total Amount: RMB68.17m ($10.4m) Grant Provider: Liaoning provincial government
A-Power Energy Generation Systems
Chinese wind turbine manufacturer A-Power Energy Generation Systems has received an RMB68.17m ($10.35m) cash subsidy from the Liaoning provincial government to support its recent non-domestic acquisitions. A-Power will use the subsidy to fund its acquisitions of Japan-based photovoltaic panel manufacturer Evatech and semiconductor manufacturer Hally’s. The subsidy is equivalent to around 20 per cent of the total cost of the Evatech acquisition, which was paid for with $49.9m in cash when it was completed in early 2010.
Source: Company announcement
China Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $50m Investors: Macquarie Bank, DB Masdar Clean Tech Fund
UPC Renewables China
Macquarie Bank and DB Masdar Clean Tech Fund have each invested $25m in UPC Renewables China, a renewable energy company with bases in Hong Kong and Beijing. The company, which currently has 150MW of wind projects in construction and a 7GW development pipeline, will use the funding to expand its wind power portfolio in China. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: Undislcosed Investors: Reliance Venture Asset Management, General Electric (GE)
Reliance Venture Asset Management has made its first foray into the clean technology space by investing in Indian biomass project developer AllGreen Energy. The Mumbai-based venture capital investor was joined by General Electric (GE) in the Series A round of investment. AllGreen Energy said it will use the financing to fund a 6.4MW biomass project in Perundurai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which will use GE turbines.
Source: Company announcement
India Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: Qteros
India-based biofuel technology developer Praj Industries has partnered with US bio-processing platform developer Qteros to commercialise low-cost processes for industrial-scale cellulosic ethanol production. The global scarcity of cellulosic biofuel was recently highlighted by the US government’s unprecedented decision to lower minimum requirements for cellulosic ethanol blending under the Renewable Standard Portfolio.
Source: Company announcement
EUROPE Belgium Deal Type: Debt Total Amount: €300,000 ($408,000) Debt Provider: KBC
Amel Bio has secured an additional €300,000 working capital facility from Belgium bank KBC to fund biomass production at its third torrefaction plant in the Belgian municipality of Amel. The funding was negotiated by its parent, Belgium-based renewable energy company 4Energy Invest, in a series of contractual credit changes that it agreed with KBC. Source: Company announcement
Denmark Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: DKK15m ($2.7m) Investor: Growth Fund (Vækstfonden)
Denmark’s Growth Fund (Vækstfonden) has invested DKK15m (€2m) in Denmark-based biomass and synthetic gas company TK Energi. TK Energi, which recently sealed two system deliveries to the US, will use the new capital to increase its global visiblity and establish a new demonstration plant in Køge, 39km south-west of Copenhagen. Source: Company announcement
Denmark Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: Undisclosed Partner: EEW Special Pipe Construction
Bladt Industries and EEW Special Pipe Construction have been awarded a contract to manufacture the turbine foundations for the 576MW Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm in Wales. The two companies have co-operated before on the foundations of the Belwind I, Baltic I and London Array offshore projects. The first foundations are scheduled for delivery into the UK in late 2011, for installation shortly after. They are expected to be in place by late 2013. Source: Company announcement
EUROPE (Continued) Denmark Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: €175m ($238.2m) Buyer: Dong Energy
MT H øjgaard
MT Højgaard, one of Denmark’s largest construction companies, has been awarded a €175m contract by domestic utility Dong Energy to manufacture and install offshore wind turbine foundations for the new Anholt wind project. To be cited between Djursland and Anholt in the Kattegat waters, the project is due to comprise 111 wind turbines and generate 400MW of clean energy. When complete, it will become the biggest offshore wind farm in Denmark and is due to supply electricity to the grid at the end of 2012, meeting four per cent of the country’s energy needs. Source: Company announcement
Denmark Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: Hebei Construction Investment New Energy Company (HCINEC)
Denmark Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyers: Prokon Energiesysteme, Erneuerbare Energien Teetzleben, Troms Kraft, Chongli Construction Investment Huashi Wind Power Company
Wind energy giant Vestas received a 50MW order from China-based Hebei Construction Investment New Energy Company (HCINEC). The order comprises 25 units of its V90 model, to be installed at the Daqinghe Yanchang wind farm in Laoting County, Hebei province, China. HCINEC and Vestas first started working together in 2008, through its subsidiary Chongli construction Investment Company. Source: Company announcement
Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has announced a series of new orders for wind farms in Germany, Poland, Norway and China totalling 450MW. The largest single order is from German wind energy developer Prokon Energiesysteme for 70 2MW turbines to be used at a series of projects in Poland. Twenty-five of the turbines are scheduled for delivery in late 2011, with the rest to follow in 2012. Erneuerbare Energien Teetzleben, also based in Germany, has ordered seven 3MW turbines for the BreesenTeetzleben Wind Farm in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, with delivery scheduled to be complete by mid-2011. Norway’s Troms Kraft has ordered 18 3MW turbines for a project in Fakken near Tromsø, to be installed by 2012. Finally, Vestas has received an order for 49.3MW from Chongli Construction Investment Huashi Wind Power Company in China. The order is for a mixture of V52-850kW and V60-850kW wind turbines, which will be installed at Jiaochekou wind farm in Chongli County, Hebei province, northern China. Source: Company announcement
Denmark Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyers: EGL Group, Windpark Groß Eilstorf
Denmark-based wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has secured new orders from Germany and Italy. the company has received an order from Italy-based EGL Group developer Winbis for 22 of its V90 wind turbines, with delivery earmarked for late 2011. Vestas has also secured an order due to be fulfilled this year: for 17 of its newest 3MW capacity wind turbines, the V112, from developer Windpark Groß Eilstorf for a 51MW wind farm in Lower Saxony, Germany. Source: Company announcement
Denmark Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: Boreas Energie
Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has secured a purchase of 19 of its V90 turbines from developer Boreas Energie for a project in Germany. Vestas is due to deliver the turbines under the latest order to the German project by the end of the year, under a supply, installation and commissioning agreement. Source: Company announcement
Finland Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: €30m ($40.9m) Partner: Henan Yinge Industrial Investment
Biorefining technology developer Chempolis and Henan Yinge Industrial Investment have partnered to construct a biorefinery in Henan province, China through a new joint venture company. The pair signed a framework agreement to establish a joint venture company in which fine paper producer Henan Yinge will invest €22.5m and Chempolis will make a smaller investment of €7.5m. Source: Company announcement
Finland Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: Porvoon Energia
Engineering group Metso will supply Porvoon Energia with a biomass boiler plant for combined heat and power production (CHP) in the township of Tolkkinen, Finland. The biomass plant will use a combination of wood chips, bark and sawdust as its main fuel source, and will be based on ‘bubbling fluidised bed’ technology. It is scheduled to begin operating in early 2013. Source: Company announcement
EUROPE (Continued) Finland Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: €9m ($12.3m) Investor: Finnish Industry Investment (FII), Via Venture Partners
State-owned investment company Finnish Industry Investment (FII) has led a €9m investment in Finnish clean technology company Beneq. Nordic venture capital fund Via Venture Partners also contributed to the round, investing alongside several undisclosed private investors. Beneq supplies production and research equipment for advanced nano-scale thin film coatings that are used in solar cells, glass coatings and flexible electronics. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: €13.7m ($18.7m) Investors: Finnish Industry Investment, Fennia Group, EM Group
France Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: €70m ($95.4m) Buyer: China Datang Group
Energy storage company European Batteries, which manufactures products for electric vehicles, has raised €13.7m from investors in a directed share issue. Finnish Industry Investment, Fennia Group and EM Group are among those who snapped up shares. This round of financing will enable it to move from early-stage to industrial production.
Source: Company announcement
Power plant Alstom has secured a €70m contract that will see it supply a large volume of power generator units to the China Datang Group for incorporation into the new Guanyinyan hydropower station on the Jinsha River in China’s Yunnan province. The contract calls for Alstom to supply three 600MW Francis turbine generators to Datang Guanyinyan Hydropower Development, a member of power group China Datang, for installment in the power station, the first of which is due to operate in 2014. Source: Company announcement
France Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: EDF Energies Nouvelles
Alstom and EDF Energies Nouvelles have signed an agreement to jointly call for tenders that the French government is reportedly launching in January to develop offshore wind farms. The agreement covers the future construction of offshore wind farms developed by EDF Energies Nouvelles, which will now be equipped with offshore wind turbines manufactured by Alstom.
Source: Company announcement
Germany Deal Type: Grant Total Amount: €760,000 ($104m) Grant Provider: Nationale Innovationsprogramm Wasserstoff und Brennstoffzellentechnologie (NIP)
Germany Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: PV julist
Heliocentris Energy Solutions
Clean energy storage company Heliocentris Energy Solutions has secured a €760,000 grant for testing its latest Nexa 1200 fuel cell system under a programme run by the German government. The funding was provided by the Nationale Innovationsprogramm Wasserstoff- und Brennstoffzellentechnologie (NIP), a government-owned platform for hydrogen fuel cell research and development. Source: Company announcement
Project developer juwi, through a partnership with PV julist, is to construct the world’s third-largest rooftop solar power plant. The Goodyear Dunlop logistics centre site is located in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany and the site will produce an output of 7.4MW of solar power. When complete, it is set to be the largest rooftop solar power plant in Germany with 95,500 solar modules, generating enough power to cover the energy requirements of a small town. Source: Company announcement
Germany Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: BrightSource Energy
Siemens Energy has secured a follow-on order to supply a set of control systems, steam turbines and generators for BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah solar thermal plant in California’s Mojave Desert. The scope of the order involves supplying a control system that will link up the central operating unit of the plant with its second and third units that are due to come online in 2013, so they operate from a single source. Source: Company announcement
EUROPE (Continued) Germany Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: €4.5m ($6.2m) Investor: BonVenture Group, Sirius EcoTech Fonds Düsseldorf, Technologiefonds MecklenburgVorpommern
Germany Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: €18.8m ($25.6m) Investors: Intel Capital, Vattenfall Europe, GDF Suez, Climate Change Capital Private Equity, Bankinvest Group, Zouk Ventures, Masdar Clean Tech Investments, Demeter
Western Pomerania-based solar company Solarlite has raised €4.5m to develop small- and medium-scale solar thermal plants in Thailand, where it already has a foothold, and other international markets. The funds were raised from a mix of existing and new investors including BonVenture Group, which has invested in the firm since 2007, and Sirius EcoTech Fonds Düsseldorf. Technologiefonds Mecklenburg-Vorpommern also joined the round as an institutional investor. Source: Company announcement
Global thin-film solar module developer Sulfurcell has raised €18.8m in a round led by Intel Capital, which it will use to bring its second generation thin-film photovoltaic (PV) technology to market. Vattenfall Europe and GDF Suez were among the long-term investors that joined in support of Sulfurcell since investing in the company’s first financing round in 2002. A group of backers including UK-based investment manager Climate Change Capital Private Equity, Copenhagen-based investor Bankinvest Group, Zouk Ventures, Masdar Clean Tech Investments and Paris-based investor Demeter, also returned to the latest round after investing €85m in Sulfurcell in 2008. Source: Company announcement
Germany Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: Misubishi Electric Seller: The Gores Group
Los Angeles-based private equity firm The Gores Group has completed the sale of Vincotech Holdings to Mitsubishi Electric.Vincotech, based in Germany, specialises in the development, manufacturing and distribution of power conditioners for solar power system applications, as well as power modules used in inverters for general industrial applications. The company expects to bring in €57.3m in revenue for 2010. Source: Company announcement
Germany Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: EverPower
European wind turbine manufacturer REpower’s US business has secured a contract to deliver its 2.05MW wind turbines for installation, in a series of wind farms developed by EverPower in the US. EverPower has a 600MW wind project development pipeline that it foresees constructing over the next three years. The contract will see REpower deliver 25 wind turbines with a total capacity of 51MW in late 2011. Source: Company announcement
Germany Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: Saint-Laurent Énergies (SLE) Consortium
REpower Systems has been awarded a contract by the Saint-Laurent Énergies (SLE) Consortium for the supply of 150 wind turbines. Together, the wind turbines will supply a power capacity of 300MW at the Lac Alfred wind farm project in the Canadian province of Québec. The project is due to be built in two phases, with the first 75 turbines to be commissioned in December 2012. The latter half of the project is scheduled to enter operation in 2013.
Source: Company announcement
Italy Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirers: MetLife, Fondo PPP Italia, Voigt & Collegen Seller: SunPower Advisor: Barclays Capital
Italy Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: Allianz Renewable Energy Partners Seller: SunPower
Montalto di Castro Solar Park
SunPower has completed the sale of its 44MW Montalto di Castro solar park to a consortium of international investors that include MetLife, Fondo PPP Italia (managed by Fondaco SGR and advised by Equiter) and Voigt & Collegen (with its funds SolEs 22 and SolEs 23). SunPower designed and built the solar power plant, and will provide ongoing operations and maintenance services for the new owners. Barclays Capital advised MetLife on this transaction. Source: Company announcement
Solare Roma Solar Plant
US-headquartered solar manufacturer SunPower has finalised the sale of the Solare Roma solar plant in Italy to Allianz Renewable Energy Partners, a subsidiary of German financial service provider Allianz. SunPower designed and built the 13MW plant in Anguillara in the Lazio region of Italy, and will continue to provide operations and maintenance services to the new owner. Source: Company announcement
EUROPE (Continued) Macedonia Deal Type: Debt Total Amount: €6m ($8.2m) Debt Provider: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Netherlands Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: Cosan Indústria e Comércio
Mali Hidro Elektrani
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has financed the development of seven hydro plants in Macedonia through the provision of a €6m loan, representing its first private sector energy investment in the country. The bank provided the loan to Macedonian renewable energy company Mali Hidro Elektrani, which will develop power plants along seven of the country’s rivers with a combined capacity of 5.83MW.
Source: Company announcement
A joint bioethanol venture between Shell and Brazilian ethanol producer Cosan Indústria e Comércio has been cleared under the European Union (EU) merger regulation. Cosan and Shell signed a binding agreement to develop a $12bn joint venture that will produce, distribute and sell ethanol, sugar and fuel products in Brazil, and around the globe. The joint venture is anticipated to supply bioethanol to the downstream ex-refinery market and the motor fuel retail market that Shell is already active in. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: Undisclosed Investor: NewSpring Capital
US private equity firm NewSpring Capital has invested in IT infrastructure management solution provider Raritan’s growing power management business through its growth equity fund, NewSpring Growth Capital II. The investment is expected to boost Raritan on its pathway to growth through funding its development of new products and expansion into new territory. Source: Company announcement
Netherlands Deal Type: Grant Total Amount: Undisclosed Grant Provider: The Dutch government
The Dutch government has awarded local engineering consultancy DHV grants for three water treatment projects in South Africa, Poland and Vietnam, under the Netherlands’ Partners for Water programme. In the South African project, DHV will use algae to treat wastewater; in Poland it will optimise a drinking water system; and in Vietnam it will provide institutional strengthening of the drinking water sector.
Source: Company announcement
Norway Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: $2bn Acquirer: China National Bluestar Seller: Orkla
Norwegian industrial conglomerate Orkla has sold its silicon subsidiary Elkem to state-controlled chemical and materials manufacturer China National Bluestar for $2bn. This transaction comprises the sale of Elkem Silicon Materials, Elkem Foundry Products, Elkem Carbon and Elkem Solar, leaving only energy unit Elkem Energi retained by Orkla. Source: Company announcement
Poland Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: RWE Innogy Seller: Gamesa Partner: HSE Regenerativ
Portugal Deal Type: Equity Invetment Total Amount: €7m ($9.5m) Investor: Banco Espírito Santo Group
Piecki Wind Farm
German renewable energy project developer RWE Innogy has acquired and commissioned the Piecki wind farm in north-east Poland from wind turbine manufacturing major Gamesa, in partnership with Germany-based power plant financier HSE Regenerativ. RWE Innogy has taken a controlling interest in the wind plant, while HSE Regenerativ now holds a minority 49 per cent stake in the project. Source: Company announcement
MagPower – Soluções de Energia
Banco Espírito Santo Group, through its venture capital fund Espírito Santo Ventures III, has made an investment of up to €7m in high concentration photovoltaic system developer Magpower – Soluções de Energia. Portugal-based Magpower has a clear focus on maximising the energy yield and containing the production, deployment, operations and maintenance costs. Source: Company announcement
EUROPE (Continued) Romania Deal Type: Debt Total Amount: €10m ($13.6m) Debt Provider: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Spain Deal Type: Debt Total Amount: $1.45bn Debt Provider: US Department of Energy
OTP Bank Romania
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided OTP Bank Romania with a loan to finance sustainable energy projects undertaken by local businesses. The EBRD financing will be complemented by grant funding from the European Union (EU) under the EBRD and European Union Energy Efficiency Financing Facility Framework, supporting a technical assistance programme and targeted incentive payments for sub-borrowers to promote sustainable energy investments.
Source: Company announcement
Spanish renewable energy developer Abengoa Solar has closed a $1.45bn federal loan guarantee to build the world’s largest parabolic trough concentrating solar plant (CSP) in Arizona, US. The financing for the Solana CSP project was provided by the US Department of Energy following a conditional commitment announced last year. The Solana project is the first large-scale solar plant in the US capable of storing the energy it generates, with six hours of molten salt thermal energy storage capacity. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: UniSource Electric Developer: Western Wind Energy
European wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa, has entered the Arizona market with an initial order for 10MW. The wind farm it will supply is being developed by Western Wind Energy for UniSource Electric, which is based in the US state. The installation is scheduled to take place in April 2011 and will comprise five Gamesa turbines. Source: Company announcement
Spain Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: Kiroba Elektrik Uretim
Gamesa, one of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers, has signed an agreement with Kiroba Elektrik Uretim to supply 20MW of turbine capacity for the Madranbaba wind farm in the Turkish province of Aydin. The Spanish company will deliver ten 2MW turbines, carry out turbine transport, installation and assembly, and provide operation and maintenance services for a period of 16 years. The new wind farm is scheduled to begin operating sometime between late 2011 and early 2012.
Source: Company announcement
Spain Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: The Weir Group
Ynfiniti Engineering Services (YES)
Engineering solutions business The Weir Group has acquired a majority shareholding in Spanish wind power maintenance specialist Ynfiniti Engineering Services (YES). Weir has acquired 76 per cent of YES with the manangement team retaining the balance. Madrid-based YES provides operating and maintenance services to installed wind turbines. Source: Company announcement
Sweden Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $4.5m Investors: BP, VantagePoint, Sustainable Technologies Fund
REAC Fuel AB
REAC Fuel AB, a Swedish company developing technology to make clean fuel from non-edible crops, has received a $4.5 million equity investment. The investment from BP, VantagePoint and Sustainable Technologies Fund will be used to accelerate development of REAC’s technology and construct a pilot plant that focuses on low-cost production of sugars from biomass. The funds are the second stage in a financing round that began early 2010. REAC Fuel expects to raise another, larger round of financing during 2011, which will be used to take its processing technology to commercial scale. Source: Company announcement
Switzerland Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: $32m Buyer: Renova Energia
Swiss engineering conglomerate ABB has received orders for transmission infrastructure worth $32m from Renova Energia in Brazil. The Zurich-based firm will design, engineer, supply, construct and commission five substations and associated equipment, as well as training operators and maintenance staff. ABB will also supply and install 60km of overhead transmission lines to connect a 290MW wind power plant to the electricity grid in the north-eastern state of Bahia. The project is scheduled for completion in 2012. Source: Company announcement
EUROPE (Continued) United Kingdom Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: Keolis Sverige
Bus operator Keolis Sverige has ordered 158 biofuel-powered buses from UK-based heavy vehicle manufacturer Scania in its effort to run 60 per cent of its expanded Swedish fleet on renewable fuels by the end of the year. The order consists of urban, suburban and intercity buses, a majority of which are to be used in the Greater Stockholm area, where Keolis operates buses for Storstockholms Lokaltrafik. The Greater Stockholm area already operates one of the world’s largest fleet of ethanol buses, with Stockholm County Council setting the goal for at least 50 per cent of passenger transits in its domain to use renewable fuels by 2012.
Source: Company announcement
United Kingdom Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: £450m ($710m) Investor: KNM Group Berhad
Peterborough Renewable Energy
The UK’s first sustainable energy park is a step closer to being built following a £450m engineering, procurement and construction deal that its developer Peterborough Renewable Energy has signed with Malaysian manufacturing giant KNM Group Berhad. The subsidiary of Green Energy Parks is set to construct the 80MW project in the UK city of Peterborough, which will produce power and remanufactured elements from waste. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: GE Advisor: Climate Change Capital
Remote Energy Monitoring (REM)
GE has strengthened its ability to provide high-efficiency energy infrastructure through its acquisition of Remote Energy Monitoring (REM). Energy management software provider REM has operations both in the UK and Australia. Its metering solutions are approved by UK regulators and their module designs allow utilities to easily integrate future capabilities. Environmental investment manager and advisory group Climate Change Capital advised REM on the sale. Source: Company announcement
United Kingdom Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: ENER-G
SmartHome Controls (SHC)
UK-based low carbon technology company ENER-G has acquired smart energy specialist SmartHome Controls (SHC) as part of its strategic growth programme. SHC designs, manufactures, installs and maintains intelligent heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting control systems to promote energy efficiency in high-end residential properties. The acquisition will enable ENER-G to gain entry into the residential controls market and provide a one-stop-shop for building controls technology and services for all sectors.
Source: Company announcement
United Kingdom Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: M&C Energy Group
Lyceum Capital-backed energy procurement and compliance specialist M&C Energy Group has acquired outsourced energy management company Utility Masters as it eyes further acquisitions to boost its global presence. Fife, Scotland-based M&C expects that this latest acquisition – its fourth in a year – will see its turnover increase to £40m and cement its position as a global energy consultancy. Source: Company announcement
United Kingdom Deal Type: Grant Total Amount: £1.1m ($1.7m) Grant Provider: Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund Partners: Keele, Newcastle and Durham Universities
United Kingdom Deal Type: Debt Total Amount: €103m ($140.3m) Debt Providers: Dexia Crediop, Société Générale
Cofily District Energy
Three geothermal heat projects respectively run by UK universities and a district power company have secured £1.1m in funding from the second round of the government’s Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund. The renewable heat projects are the brainchildren of Keele, Newcastle and Durham Universities, and Southampton-based energy company Cofily District Energy. Source: Company announcement
A subsidiary of AES Solar has closed €103m in long-term financing facilities that will finance its 24MW portfolio of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. This is the third financial close AES Solar has made in Italy in eight months. The financial facilities – which were provided by Dexia Crediop and Société Générale, and mature 18 years after construction – will cover around 85 per cent of the estimated project costs. Source: Company announcement
EUROPE (Continued) United Kingdom Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: £2m ($3.2m) Investor: Albion Ventures
One-year-old renewable energy company Engensa has secured a £2m investment from venture capital investor Albion Ventures to fund its free UK-based solar installation scheme. This is Albion’s second investment this year into renewable energy. Engensa operates on two models, initially as a straightforward solar power system retailer, and also as a funded solar installer under its SunRoof initiative. Source: Company announcement
LATIN AMERICA Mexico Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: Iberdrola Renovables Seller: Gamesa
Bii Nee Stipa Wind Farm
Spanish utility Iberdrola Renovables has strengthened its presence in Mexico through the purchase of a wind farm from turbine major Gamesa. The Bii Nee Stipa wind farm, located in the state of Oaxaca, has an installed capacity of 26MW. The Bii Nee Stipa facility comprises 31 Gamesa-manufactured G52 wind turbines, each with the capacity to generate 850kW. Source: Company announcement
NORTH AMERICA Canada Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $160m Investors: ARC Financial, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
Canada-based renewable energy developer BluEarth Renewables has raised more than $160m from a series of investors including ARC Financial, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and other backers. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has agreed to invest up to $75m in equity to fund BluEarth, which acquires, develops, constructs and operates hydro, wind and solar power projects in the North America region. BluEarth, which was recently formed by the founders and senior management of Canadian Hydro Developers, will use the funding to finance its strategic business plan. Source: Company announcement
Canada Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: $1m Buyer: Undisclosed
Canada-based clean air technology developer TurboSonic Technologies has been awarded a $1m contract for its wet electrostatic precipitator (WESP) technology from an unnamed European chemical producer. The WESP is designed to reduce particulate emissions from a petroleum coke-fired kiln. TurboSonic’s customer previously purchased a WESP in 2006 for similar control of particulates and sulphur trioxide, a major cause of acid rain. Source: Company announcement
Canada Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: NanoMech
Canadian Nano Technologies (Canano)
US-based nanoparticle-based coating and deposition system developer NanoMech has acquired Canadian Nano Technologies (Canano) in a deal that will see it enhance its product offerings to the solar energy sector. The Canadian company at the centre of the takeover engineers nano-powder products that address problems specific to the solar energy, electronics, agriculture and aerospace sectors. Source: Company announcement
Canada Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $24m Investor: Undisclosed
Western Wind Energy
Western Wind Energy has closed a $24m financing round for its 10.5MW combined wind and solar project at Kingman, Arizona in the US. Construction is to start immediately. This is the first utility-scale renewable energy project that combines wind and solar under one power purchase agreement. Western Wind Energy already has a long-term power purchase agreement in place for 10.5MW of electricity from the facility. Source: Company announcement
NORTH AMERICA (Continued) United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: Hawaiian Electric (HE)
Aina Koa Pono (AKP)
Hawaiian Electric (HE) has signed a contract for a local company, Aina Koa Pono (AKP), to provide locally-grown and processed biofuel for electricity generation in Hawaii. AKP will grow sorghum and eucalyptus on what are now fallow sugarcane fields in the Ka’u area of Hawaii Island to supply biofuel to the Keahole power plant. The company has developed a technique to convert plant matter into liquid fuel using microwaves. The price HE will pay for the fuel, is fixed over the term of the contract with annual escalations. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: $77m Acquirer: Atlantic Power
Cadillac Renewable Energy
Independent listed power producer Atlantic Power has closed the previously-announced acquisition of Cadillac Renewable Energy, a 39.6MW biomass facility in Michigan, US. The power company bought the facility for $77m, which was funded by $34m in cash and $42m in project-level debt that amortises over the term of the project’s power purchase agreement. Atlantic Power’s development portfolio consists of interests in 12 power generation projects across nine US states. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Grant Total Amount: $900,000 Grant Provider: BIRD Energy programme
Virent Energy Systems and Khosla Ventures-backed biomass technology developer HCL CleanTech have secured a $900,000 government grant to demonstrate ‘drop-in’ biofuels. The grant, provided by the US and Israeli government-funded BIRD Energy programme, will finance nearly half of a $2.1m project to dovetail the companies’ technologies to produce fuel that is compatible with existing infrastructure. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Debt Total Amount: $75m Debt Provider: US Department of Agriculture’s Biorefinery Assistance Program (BAP) Partner: New Planet Energy
Ineos Bio and its joint venture partner New Planet Energy have secured a conditional $75m loan guarantee from the US Department of Agriculture’s Biorefinery Assistance Program (BAP) to construct a bioenergy centre near Vero Beach in Florida, US. The BAP initiative provides funding intended to advance the next generation of bioenergy technologies in the commercial sector. Through funding the development of the Ineos Bio model, the initiative is expected to pave the way for further advancement of next generation biofuels.
Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: Professional Project Services (PPS)
Second-generation biofuel producer Maverick Biofuels is collaborating with engineering service provider Professional Project Services (PPS) to develop front-end engineering designs for a new pilot scale biorefinery in North Carolina, US. Maverick, which plans to build a biorefinery that will produce mixedalcohol biofuels from biomass and municipal solid waste, is raising its first round of financing to build the pilot project. Scheduled to be completed in 2011 with fuel production slated in the following 18 months, the pilot-scale biorefinery will act as the next step towards designing and constructing a large-scale commercial facility. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: MBD Energy
Algae fuel developer OriginOil has secured the first commercial order for its algae oil extraction system, which will see it harvest algae and biomass as part of an industrial pilot that may lead to larger follow-on orders. MBD Energy, which develops technology to convert flue-gas emissions into algal biomass, has agreed to buy an OriginOil extraction unit that will be trialled at a coal-fired power plant in Australia. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Grant Total Amount: $14.6m Grant Provider: US National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
University of California-Davis
The US National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has made a $14.6m award to the University of California-Davis for a project researching the potential of conifers as biofuels. NIFA made a second award, worth $25m, to another Davis team who are looking at the effects of climate change on crop yields. Source: Company announcement
NORTH AMERICA (Continued) United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $325m Investor: Trivest Partners
AM Conservation Group
Private investment firm Trivest Partners has invested $325m in US-based energy reduction and water conservation product supplier AM Conservation Group. Operating in the energy efficiency, energy and water conservation space, AM Conservation Group’s products are predominantly used to implement conservation programmes.
Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Debt Total Amount: $1bn Debt Provider: Goldman Sachs Bank USA
Renewable energy and natural gas company Calpine has closed a $1bn revolving credit facility, which it plans to use for working capital and corporate purposes, replacing the credit facility under its existing term loan. A consortium of banks acted as joint lead arrangers on the transaction, including Goldman Sachs Bank USA. The new senior secured debt facility is due to mature on 10 December 2015, bearing interest based on a leverage pricing grid. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $76m Investors: Harbinger Capital Partners, Riverstone Holdings
Electric vehicle and advanced lithium-ion battery developer Coda has raised $76m in the initial closing of a Series D preferred investment round led by Harbinger Capital Partners and Riverstone Holdings. The new financing brings the total amount raised by the company up to more than $200m. Coda will use the new capital to prepare for production of its flagship fully electric vehicle, the Coda Sedan, and to support its 2011 marketing drive. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $10m Investor: ABB
ECOtality, a clean energy transportation and storage technology provider, has secured a $10m equity investment from global engineering business ABB. Alongside the investment, the pair has entered into a North American manufacturing agreement that establishes a strategic supplier relationship. ECOtality is based in San Francisco and is responsible for the largest roll-out of electric vehicle infrastructure in the US. The tie-up marks the first move for ABB into the US low carbon transport market and places it alongside other power majors such as General Electric and Siemens. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: $10m Buyer: NASA
Semiconductor component maker Emcore has been contracted by NASA to manufacture, test and deliver solar panels for four spacecraft in a deal worth $10m. Emcore will supply 32 solar panels to power the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft. The panels be made at Emcore’s factory in Albuquerque, New Mexico and will have a sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency of close to 30 per cent, considerably higher than those used for terrestrial applications. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: FlexEnergy
US clean energy company FlexEnergy has completed its acquisition of the energy systems business of Ingersoll Rand. The energy systems business develops microturbines and recuperators, and will add to FlexEnergy’s operations in New Hampshire, as well as its other US bases in Carolina and California. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $30m Investors: Blackrock, Flagship Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, CTTV Investments
US-based clean technology start-up LS9 has raised $30m in its latest round of funding, which was led by global asset manager BlackRock. Existing shareholders Flagship Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and the venture capital arm of Chevron Technology Ventures, CTTV Investments, also participated in the round. The financing will help ready its products for commercial production, and support its development and growth programmes. Source: Company announcement
NORTH AMERICA (Continued) United States Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: Interplex Group
US-based efficient electric motor technology provider Power Efficiency is collaborating with technology-focused Interplex Group in Malaysia to develop new products using its patented E-Save technology. The two companies signed a collaborative agreement that will see Power Efficiency expand its reach into Asia. The agreement calls for the companies to develop, manufacture and sell new, efficient technical products. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $1.2m Investors: Navitas Capital, Massachusetts Green Energy Fund
United States Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: Innovation Framework Technologies (IFT)
Sustainability Roundtable (SR)
Venture capital firm Navitas Capital has led a $1.2m early stage investment in private US sustainability consultancy Sustainability Roundtable (SR). Massachusetts Green Energy Fund also participated in the Series A funding round, which is geared towards driving the company’s growth and market expansion. Source: Company announcement
The National Institute of Clean Energy (NICE)
The National Institute of Clean Energy (NICE) has formed a strategic alliance with Innovation Framework Technologies (IFT) to gain access to its management and technology innovation roadmapping capabilities and resources. NICE is to implement a technology roadmapping programme for US clean energy technologies, along with a group of universities and industry think tanks.
United States Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: Chrysler
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has partnered with automaker Chrysler to develop energy efficient hydraulic hybrid technology for the light vehicle market, using its own patented technology. Hydraulic hybrid technology is anticipated to increase fuel efficiency in light vehicles by up to 35 per cent, increasing efficiency by 60 per cent in city conditions, and cutting emissions by a quarter. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC)
Source: Company announcement
Energy storage start-up Xtreme Power has secured the first sale of its latest battery storage system, signing a contract today to sell a 1.5MW utility-scale system to Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC). Its dynamic power resource will be installed at a substation in Koloa and will help mitigate the effects of a 3MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project – scheduled to be built by the end of the year – which will also feed into the substation. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Debt Total Amount: $967m Debt Provider: US Department of Energy (DOE)
Aqua Caliente Solar Project
The planned Agua Caliente solar project in Yuma County, Arizona, has received a $967m loan guarantee from the US Department of Energy (DOE). The 290MW project was originally owned by First Solar, but was bought by NRG in December. First Solar will still supply thin-film solar panels for the plant. The Agua Caliente Solar project will deploy fault ride-through and dynamic voltage regulation, technologies that are new to solar power plants in the US.
Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: K Road Sun Seller: Tessera Solar North America
Calico Solar Project
K Road Sun has acquired the Calico Solar Project near Barstow, California from Tessera Solar North America after a power purchase agreement with Southern California Edison (SCE) fell through. The Calico project was approved by the California Energy Commission and has an interconnection agreement to supply 850MW to the state’s power grid. Source: Company announcement
NORTH AMERICA (Continued) United States Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: OCI Enterprises
CornerStone Power Development
Utility-scale solar plant developer CornerStone Power Development has been bought by US-based chemical and energy company OCI Enterprises, a subsidiary of Korean polysilicon producer OCI. CornerStone, which has a portfolio of 12 projects totaling more than 130MW in North America, will form part of OCI’s new energy division. As a result of the acquisition, the company will become OCI Solar Power as part of the energy division, which was created to diversify and enhance business lines. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyer: 510nano
United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: $33m Buyer: OCI
Dominion North Carolina Power
Dominion North Carolina Power has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with Washington-based green energy solutions provider 510nano. The agreement is for a 1.4MW photovoltaic solar power station, which is expected to begin producing clean energy by March.
Source: Company announcement
GT Solar International
Global solar equipment provider GT Solar International has secured a $33m order from South Korea-based polysilicon producer OCI for its sapphire crystallization furnaces. The order marks OCI’s entrance into the fast-growing LED industry, and is GT Solar’s first commercial sale of its sapphire crystallization furnaces in the Korea LED market.
Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $14m Investor: Austin Ventures
Lincoln Renewable Energy (LRE)
US renewable energy developer Lincoln Renewable Energy (LRE) has closed $14m in private funding, in a round led by venture capital firm Austin Ventures. The company will use the capital to continue its development of utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects and conduct targeted early-stage wind development. It currently has a range of projects in development in 11 states across the US. The financing round included LRE’s founding investors and management members. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: China National Buildings Material (CNBM)
Photovoltaic (PV) system solution developer Parity Solar has formed a joint venture with China National Buildings Material (CNBM), which will provide additional strength to its balance sheet. The companies will expand Parity’s existing module manufacturing facility in Zhenjiang, in the Chinese province of Jiangsu and will expand Parity’s global pipeline development efforts by securing new projects in China, the Middle East, Africa and South America. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: $2.3m Buyer: US Department of Energy (DOE)
Pepco Energy Services
Pepco Energy Services is to design and construct a $2.3m photovoltaic (PV) project in Maryland for the US Department of Energy. The project will be implemented under a utility energy services contract that Pepco already holds with the US government. Under the project contract, it is to construct a ground-mounted solar array, together with a carport array that will be built with an electric car charging station. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: Undisclosed Buyers: ShanXi LuAn Solar Energy, Changzhou Trina Solar Energy and Realforce Solar
Shanghai-based specialty gas supplier Praxair Electronics has won three new contracts with solar companies in China that will support their respective expansions. The contracts will see Praxair supply special gases to crystalline silicon solar wafer manufacturer ShanXi LuAn Solar Energy, Changzhou Trina Solar Energy and Realforce Solar. The sale of silane, which is used in the production of solar products, to each of these companies is expected to enable them to undertake their ramp-up plans. Source: Company announcement
NORTH AMERICA (Continued) United States Deal Type: Acquisition Total Amount: Undisclosed Acquirer: First Solar
US-based solar module manufacturer First Solar has acquired tracking and photovoltaic systems balance company RayTracker, an Idealab company. First Solar will acquire RayTracker group’s expertise in solar technology, engineering, photovoltaic system modelling, software engineering, product development and high volume manufacturing. Although the terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed, the takeover will see RayTracker’s team join First Solar’s engineering, procurement and construction group, and its customers also transitioned to the group.
Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Partial Acquisition Total Amount: $14m Acquirer: LDK Solar
Solar Power Inc (SPI)
Chinese solar major LDK Solar has acquired a 70 per cent stake in US-based Solar Power (SPI). SPI is involved in material sourcing and manufacturing, as well as installing solar panels in the US, including a large rooftop solar business. LDK has until now concentrated on the manufacturing end of the supply chain, producing wafers cheaply using low-cost Chinese labour and recycled polysilicon. It is a major player in the industry, with a market capitalisation of $1.4bn. Source: Company announcement
Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $15m Investors: Greener Capital, Firelake Capital, Brightpath Capital Partners
United States Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: Posco Power
US-based solar installer Sungevity has raised $15m in funding that will aid its national expansion. The Series C funding round was led by the company’s existing backers Greener Capital and Firelake Capital, along with new investor Brightpath Capital Partners, an Oakland impact investment fund. The total funding raised by Sungevity now exceeds $25m.
Source: Company announcement
Sustainable Energy Capital Partners (SECP)
Sustainable Energy Capital Partners (SECP) has partnered with South Korea’s largest independent power producer Posco Power to develop the world’s biggest photovoltaic (PV) solar plant in Nevada, US. The planned 300MW solar plant, to be located in Boulder City, adds to a growing solar portfolio in the south-west US totalling more than 400MW.
Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Equity Investment Total Amount: $9.7m Investor: Angeleno Group
Verengo Solar Plus
Los Angeles private equity firm Angeleno Group has invested $9.7m in US-based home solar provider Verengo Solar Plus. Verengo Solar Plus will use the financing to aid its expansion, after establishing a locally-oriented business model three years ago. The company has increased its revenue by more than 70 per cent in the past year alone, and is now poised to extend its operations beyond Southern California. Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Project Finance Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: Baoding Tianwei Group
Wells Fargo has signed an agreement with Chinese renewable energy power transmission company Baoding Tianwei Group pledging to cooperate on building and developing solar power products in the US. The agreement outlines financial support for Baoding Tianwei’s Hawaii-based subsidiary Hoku, which is to build a polysilicon manufacturing facility in Idaho
Source: Company announcement
United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: $10m Buyer: Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction
American Superconductor (AMSC)
Global power technologies company American Superconductor (AMSC) has secured a $10m order for its wind turbine control systems from South Korean company Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction. AMSC is expected to ship the products to Doosan between mid-2011 and mid-2012, which plans to use the control systems in its onshore and offshore 3MW capacity wind turbines.
Source: Company announcement
NORTH AMERICA (Continued) United States Deal Type: Contract Total Amount: $11m Buyer: China HuaNeng
US public wind company CleanTech Innovations is to supply wind towers to a subsidiary of state-owned energy company China HuaNeng Group under a new $11m supply deal. The contract, which is equivalent to half of CleanTech’s 2010 revenues, will see it make deliveries this year to HuaNeng, one of its long-standing customers. CleanTech’s management and insider holdings are locked up and prohibited from any share sales for at least three years, the clean energy company recently disclosed.
Source: Company announcement
OCEANIA Australia Deal Type: Equity / Debt Total Amount: A$30m ($29.8m) Equity / Debt Provder: AGS Capital Group
EnviroMission has secured A$30m ($29.8m) in financing from US-based private investment fund AGS Capital Group to commercialise its solar tower plant development. AGS has signed an agreement to provide EnviroMission with a financial facility that includes a combination of debt and equity funding. It has also agreed to hold the renewable energy company’s securities as required, at intervals when market conditions support such a debt and equity transaction. Source: Company announcement
Australia Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: A$300m ($297m) Partner: Suntech Australia
Solar power project developers Infigen Energy and Suntech Australia have been given the go-ahead to construct a A$300m ($297m) installation in New South Wales. The project will receive funding under the federal government’s Solar Flagships scheme, and will become an iconic development for the region. The Solar Flagships programme is part of the Australian government’s A$4.5bn Clean Energy Initiative. Source: Company announcement
Australia Deal Type: Grant Total Amount: €75,000 ($102,000) Grant Providers: Sustainable Energy Association (SEA)
Carnegie Wave Energy
Australian wave energy developer Carnegie Wave Energy has secured funding from the Irish government to develop site-specific wave energy devices off the coast of Ireland. Carnegie will fund half of the cost of the project, while the Ireland’s Sustainable Energy Association (SEA) will provide the other half. Estimated at €150,000, the project will scope and determine sites on which its subsidiary CETO Wave Energy Ireland will develop tailored wave energy modules.
Source: Company announcement
New Zealand Deal Type: Joint Venture Total Amount: Undisclosed Partner: IndianOil
New Zealand-based LanzaTech is to collaborate with petroleum giant IndianOil on a demonstration to evaluate whether its fermentation technology is suitable to produce fuel grade ethanol. The collaboration, will take place at one of IndianOil’s refineries, and will examine techno-economic and feasibility issues. Source: Company announcement
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Published on Jan 31, 2011
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