Clean Investor, August 2: Pension fund-backed infra venture buys German solar plants

RI’s regular Tuesday review of clean investing news

Two pension fund-backed infrastructure funds have bought two German solar photovoltaic power plants. The Blue Forrest Solar Holding venture of DIF Infrastructure II and the NIBC European Infrastructure Fund – which both count funds such as PFZW and APG among their investors – have acquired the 40MW Finsterwalde II and III facilities from Q-Cells SE for an undisclosed sum. The plants are in a former opencast coal mine and are part of Germany’s largest solar PV site. Announcement

Ceres, the investor and public interest group coalition, has presented a report showing the benefits of greater fuel efficiency in cars. Its new More Jobs per Gallon: How Strong Fuel Economy/GHG Standards Will Fuel American Job paper was produced by Management Information Services. “Getting better gas mileage is not just good for consumers’ wallets—it’s good for job creation and the broader economy as well,” says Ceres’ President Mindy Lubber.

The Carbon Disclosure Project has announced an agreement with consulting firm Deloitte to help drive the CDP Water Disclosure initiative. The tie-up will entail collaboration on water stewardship thought leadership and use insight gleaned from Deloitte’s work with some of the world’s largest companies.

The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has published a new standard detailing the level of competency required by those responsible for verifying greenhouse gas emissions. ISO14066 is “the latest addition to ISO’s toolbox of standards for addressing climate change and supporting emissions trading schemes”.

The Australian CleanTech 20 sub-index has been launched to track the performance of the country’s largest 20 cleantech companies by market capitalisation. “This sub-index will be rebalanced each quarter and over the longer term is expected to outperform the overall index,” said Australian CleanTech in its July report.

Index firm STOXX has launched an index to reflect the increasing importance of rare earth metals in high-tech gadgets. The STOXX Global Rare Earth Index consists of companies that generate at least 30% of their revenues in the sector globally, and is designed to underlie exchange-traded funds and other investable products.CLSA Capital Partners, the alternative asset management arm of CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, has said its Clean Resources Asia Growth Fund has made a $15m (€10.5m) investment in Indonesian tea company PT SariWangi AEA. It’s the fund’s first direct investment into sustainable agricultural technology and will enable SariWangi to grow its new agriculture technology solutions company, PT Nutrigasi Indonesia (Nutrigation) and expand its core tea business.

The forthcoming Climate Bond Standard will additionally include not just corporate bonds, but also project development bonds and bonds issued by securitization vehicles, the Climate Bonds Initiative says. The inaugural meeting of the Climate Bond Standards Board was held on July 22, with representatives from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System; the Natural Resources Defense Council; the California State Treasurers’ Office; the Investor Group on Climate Change; the Carbon Disclosure Project; and the Ceres Investor Network on Climate Risk.

A new £500m (€574m) fund from bank giant Barclays will invest in social infrastructure, economic infrastructure, renewable energy, electricity transmission and waste-to-energy senior debt executed by Barclays Corporate. The Barclays Senior Debt Infrastructure Fund is only open to institutional investors and is currently in the book-building stage with “good initial demand” from prospective investors. Announcement

The global wind turbine rotor blade market is projected to double to $16bn (€11.1bn) by 2015, according to research from GlobalData reported by Renewable Energy magazine. The growth is being driven by depleting reserves of fossil fuels, lower wind power generation costs and a greater environmental sensitivity.

The World Bank’s IFC has closed its IFC Post-2012 Carbon Facility after it was fully subscribed for €150m. The fund will extend carbon markets to help increase access to finance for projects that promote environmentally friendly economic growth and reduce emissions. IFC committed €15m; the balance came from EnBW Trading, ESB International, GDF Suez, JP Morgan, Mabanaft, Mercuria Energy Group, PetroChina, and Shell Trading. Release