Clean Investor, November 8: Clean tech investments by NBIM, Generation IM

The round-up of clean investing news

Norges Bank Investment Management, the arm of the Norwegian central bank which runs the NOK3trn (€388bn) Government Pension Fund, has disclosed a 5.11% stake in NASDAQ-listed smart grid supplier Itron Inc. Link

Generation Investment Management, the investment boutique co-founded by former US Vice President Al Gore, has renewed its backing for US solar photovoltaic tech firm Tigo Energy. Generation is listed among the investors in California-based Tigo’s latest $5m funding round.

The Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System’s real estate arm has achieved its 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions ahead of schedule, according to a statement. OMERS’ Oxford Properties added it now aims to achieve an additional 10% energy reduction across its Canadian portfolio over the next four years.

The Climate Bonds Standard and Certification Scheme will be formally launched in London on November 24, with speakers including UK Climate Change Minister Greg Barker and California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer (by video). Announcement

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has created a list of global stocks based on their exposure to water themes. “The aim of the stock list is to provide investors with information to understand company and sub-sector specific risks and opportunities inherent in the water theme,” the bank said in a sector report. “Water will become the oil of the 21st century,” it says. Link

Independent energy firm Ecotricity is launching a second £10m (€11.6m) green energy bond. It will have an initial four-year term and pay an annual rate of interest of 6% (or 6.5% for customers). The bonds are open to UK-based individuals, companies, trusts, charities and other legal entities and require a minimum £500 investment. A similar issue last year was 50% oversubscribed. Announcement

China’s Finance Ministry has announced it will allow two cities and two provinces to issue local government bonds for environmental projects, according to the Climate Bonds Initiative. But it was still unclear whether foreign investors would be allowed to buy.

Dutch development finance institution FMO and Norway’s DnB NOR have arranged a $155m loan for a hydropower project in Panama. The 15-year facility is for the 58MW Bajo Rio project; other participants include French development finance institution PROPARCO and Germany’s DEG.The Carbon Disclosure Project, the investor-backed initiative, has invited 140 of the world’s most populated cities to report information on their greenhouse gas emissions and climate change strategies, as part of the second annual disclosure cycle of its CDP Cities program. The CDP is also asking cities, for the first time, to report on water use and risks.

Climate Change Capital Ltd. – the low carbon firm’s main fund management vehicle – lost £3.47m for the year ending December 31 2010, according to company accounts quoted by Dow Jones. The figure compares to a £0.11m loss the year before. Turnover fell to £16.5m from £23.2m.

Desertec, the German-led project to develop solar energy in the deserts of Northern Africa and the Middle East, will start building its first power plant next year, a €2bn 500MW facility in Morocco, according to reports. “Construction is to start in 2012,” Ernst Rauch of backer Munich Re said in an interview with Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

French state investor Caisse des Dépôts has announced an investment in carbon credits generated by French landfill biogas pioneer Bionersis in Colombia. The move is via its CDC Climat and CDC Climat Asset Management divisions. Link

The Singapore government has announced the establishment of the Asian Photovoltaic (PV) Industry Association (APVIA). The new body, announced by Trade Minister Lee Yi Shan, will “provide a coordinated voice to advance the solar industry in Asia”. Link

A new body has been launched to help adaption to climate change impacts. Members of the Partnership for Resilience and Environmental Preparedness (PREP) include Calvert Investments, Entergy, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Levi Strauss, Starbucks, Swiss Re, BSR and Ceres. Oxfam America serves as PREP’s secretariat. Announcement

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has signed a CNY10bn (€1.1bn) loan financing deal with wind turbine maker Xinjiang Goldwind. The facility includes fixed-asset loans, working capital loans, M&A loans, trade financing, guarantees, project financing, and export credit, Reuters reported.