Clean Investor, January 10: French state investor signs Tunisia carbon credits deal

RI’s regular round-up of clean investing news

CDC Climat, the climate change investment arm of French state investor Caisse des Dépôts, has signed a deal to buy Certified Emission Reduction Units [carbon credits] generated by the 190MW, 143-turbine Bizerte wind power plant in Tunisia. The CERs will be jointly bought by CDC Climat and French development finance institution Proparco, as part of a mandate to invest in Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries.

Meanwhile, Proparco has signed a 15-year US$7.15m loan to Madrid-based T-Solar group to finance two photovoltaic power plants in Peru. The plants, with an aggregate capacity of 44MW, will be the first large-scale solar photovoltaic energy projects in Latin America, it said. Proparco is investing alongside the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the FMO, the US and Dutch development finance agencies. Announcement

A new report from the World Bank has identified good practices for managing the key environmental and social issues associated with wind power development. The 172-page study is called “Greening the wind: environmental and social considerations for wind power development” and is available here.

The €437m BNP Paribas Investment Partners’ Clean Energy Fund has bought a 35MW, three wind-farm portfolio in France from turbine maker Nordex. The move brings the fund’s total wind asset base to over 100M, according to reports. The deal was project financed with support from HSH Nordbank.

Investment activity in the German solar industry “significantly increased” towards the end of the year following a weak first six months, says the German Solar Industry Association (Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft, or BSW). Overall, newly installed photovoltaic capacity for 2011 is expected to reach approximately the level of the previous year, the BSW added. Link*The Living Planet Green Tech Europe* Index – launched a year ago by the WWF International subsidiary the Living Planet Fund Management Company and brokerage Cheuvreux – has been rebalanced. Five stocks have been added: Derichebourg; Enel Green Power; Pfeiffer Vacuum Tech; Spirax-Sarco Engineering; and Umicore. The Index is calculated by Standard & Poor’s and consists of 50 European listed firms.

The Carbon Disclosure Project expects further growth in climate change investment products such as the FTSE CDP Carbon Strategy Index and the Nedbank BGreen ETF in 2012, says CDP Chief Executive Paul Simpson. In a Guardian article, he added that he expects further collaborative engagement by investors calling on investee companies to develop low carbon plans.

Worldwide biomass power generation capacity will grow to at least 86GW by 2021, from 58GW in 2011, according to Pike Research. That represents a total investment of $104bn from 2008 to 2021, Pike said. It comes as the world’s largest biomass power plant is set to come online in Tilbury in the UK later this month, generating an estimated 750MW. Link

The Carlyle Group, the global alternative asset manager with $148bn in assets under management, is to provide financing for the $225m Plainfield Renewable Energy biomass project in Connecticut alongside New York-listed Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). The Enova Energy project will generate 37.5MW of energy, the partners said.

Research firm Cleantech Group has released preliminary 2011 results for global cleantech venture and corporate investments. They totalled $9bn, up 13% on 2010. Mergers and acquisitions reached a record of 391 deals worth $41.2bn – 153% higher than 2010. Release

Renewable Energy Group, the largest US biodiesel producer, is set to become the first initial public offering of 2012, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The Iowa-based firm plans to sell 7.2m shares on January 19; it has applied to list on the NASDAQ exchange.