Clean Investor, July 12: Macquarie’s forest offset project gets backing

RI’s regular Tuesday review of clean investing news

The World Bank’s IFC, Global Forest Partners and Macquarie Global Investments have committed $25m to Macquarie’s BioCarbon Group Pte Ltd., which runs projects to sequester greenhouse gases and generates carbon credits. BioCarbon’s early projects are located in Indonesia in collaboration with conservation group Fauna & Flora International. Link

California has announced it will delay enforcement of its carbon trading program until 2013. Conversely, China is reported to be setting up a unified national carbon trading platform by 2015.

Prudential Real Estate Investors (PREI), the property arm of Prudential Financial Inc. which runs about $46.4bn (€33bn) in real estate assets, is hosting the largest privately owned roof-top solar panel project in the US at a warehouse in New Jersey. The installation will let tenants benefit from cheaper electricity “and provide PREI’s investors with the opportunity to gain returns through the lease and a portion of revenue generated from the sale of electricity”. Announcement

German solar company SolarWorld AG says it has issued a five-year, 6.375% €150m bond to be listed on the Luxembourg stock exchange. “The bond has mainly been placed with financial institutes and intermediaries in the private investment sector in Germany and other European countries,” it said. Commerzbank AG and Deutsche Bank AG are the joint lead managers.

Renewable energy consumption in the US rose by 6% to over 8 quadrillion Btu (British thermal unit) between 2009 and 2010, according to a statistical report from the US Energy Information Administration.
Triodos Renewables is hosting a panel discussion on whether investment in UK renewables has reached a tipping point. The speakers at the event in London on July 13 include Triodos’ James Vaccaro, WHEB Asset Management’s Clare Brook, British Wind Energy Association’s Gordon Edge and Matthew Spencer of the Green Alliance.
US asset management giant Wellington Management Co. has disclosed a 5.41% stake in California-based solar technology company SunPower Corp.Around €1bn of financing – from the European Investment Bank and 16 commercial banks – has been secured for an ambitious wind farm project in the German North Sea. The 80-turbine, 400 MW Global Tech I project will generate around 1.4bn kilowatt hours of electricity a year. It will be connected to the national grid in 2012 and be fully completed in 2013.

AIM-listed clean investment company Low Carbon Accelerator Ltd., has made a further investment of £750,000 (€850,000) in small scale wind firm Proven Energy with a secured loan. It means Low Carbon’s total investment in the company is now £10.65m; it has an equity stake of just over 80%. Announcement

New Zealand is hoping to become a regional carbon-trading hub, according to an interview with the country’s Climate Change Issues Minister Nick Smith with Reuters. New Zealand has been operating an expanded carbon market for over 12 months, the article said.

Climate Change Capital, the asset management firm whose institutional shareholders include Alliance Trust, Mitsui & Co. Ltd., SNS Reaal and the Universities Superannuation Scheme, has agreed to buy Scottish and Southern Energy’s 50% interest in the Braes of Doune onshore wind farm in Scotland for £61.3m (€69.4m).
Climate Change Capital Private Equity (CPE) and Oraxys, the Luxembourg-based cleantech investor, have taken a stake worth €8m in Orège, a French company with patented technology in the treatment of waste gases and polluted material generated by the extractives and chemical industries. CPE, a €200m fund, will invest €6m of the €8m committed.

Oil-from-algae company OriginOil has received backing from “certain institutional investors” via a $1m convertible notes deal – its first institutional investment round. Wall Street firm Rodman & Renshaw acted as placement agent for the transaction. Announcement

Analysis from the Carbon Trust has found that the UK’s best marine energy sites could generate electricity at costs comparable with nuclear and onshore wind. “In the future marine energy could provide a fifth of the UK’s electricity needs,” it says.