Clean Investor, May 31: UK government commits to Zouk, HG Capital cleantech funds

RI’s regular Tuesday review of clean investing news

The UK’s Innovation Investment Fund is to commit more than £20m (€23m) to the Zouk Cleantech 2 and HG Capital Renewable Power Partners 2 funds, said Business Secretary Vince Cable in a speech last week. The UKIIF was announced in 2009 and invest in technology based businesses with high growth potential.

Triodos Renewables is planning a new share issue this summer. It said it is an “opportunity to own part of the future of UK energy”. Triodos Renewables, founded in 1995 by Triodos Bank, is one of the UK’s leading independent renewable energy businesses.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), will begin its latest round of talks in Bonn, Germany from June 6-17. The talks will focus on the implementation of the agreements reached in Cancun under the Climate Change Convention. A first attempt at this in Bangkok in April was delayed by politically charged discussions. Link to UNFCCC

Renewable energy company Wind Prospect Group has launched a corporate retail bond onto the UK market to raise £10m (€11.5m). The so-called ‘ReBonds’ will return 7.5% over a four-year initial investment period, with a higher rate for larger investments. Capital raised will be used to fund the first commercial wind turbines ever to be built in the UK’s West Midlands region. “The offer is open for an eight-week period and will be available on a strictly first come, first served basis,” it said.

The World Bank’s IFC says it has raised $135m via its third issue of green ‘Uridashi’ bonds for climate-friendly investments in emerging markets. Uridashi bonds are denominated in a foreign currency and sold directly to Japanese retail investors, with funds raised set aside for investing exclusively in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other climate-friendly projects in developing countries. Link

SAM Private Equity, the $1bn clean tech and sustainable private equity arm of Robeco, has invested $6m in US waste-to energy firm Harvest Power. Harvest is building North America’s first commercial-scale high solids anaerobic digestion facility in Vancouver, British Columbia. Existing investors include Generation Investment Management, Kleiner Perkins and Munich Venture Partners. Announcement*The European Parliament’s Environment* Committee wants the European Union to pledge to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020 (from 1990 levels). The group voted 44 in favour and 14 against a resolution on the matter last week. “Limited scope for offsets should be allowed, but a 25% reduction should be achieved domestically,” the committee said in a statement. “This would create millions of additional jobs in the EU and yield other economic benefits.”

The Asian Development Bank says it disbursed a total of more than $750m in 82 water-related projects throughout 2010. Countries receiving significant funds included China, India and Indonesia. To support its water programs, ADB issued its first Water Bonds in 2010, raising a total of $638m. Link

Norway is seeking government and private investor partners in a plan called Energy+ to promote green energies such as solar or wind power to combat climate change, according to a Reuters news report. The scheme is an initiative to promote access to energy and low-carbon development in developing nations, the report states.

Japan will radically transform its energy policy to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power by setting a new goal of generating 20% of its electricity from renewable resources in the 2020s, according to reports. “Japan will now review its basic energy plan from scratch and is set to address new challenges,” Prime Minister Naoto Kan was quoted saying at an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development forum last week.

A new fund focusing on carbon credits and renewable energy has been launched by Laurent Segalen, a former carbon trader at Nomura, and ex-Credit Suisse trader Coos Battjes. They aim to raise up to €150m for their new Euro Carbon Macro Fund, a Reuters report stated.

Greg Barker, UK Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change will make the keynote address at Responsible Investor’s Clean Investor 2011 conference on June 30 at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, in Westminster, London – full details.