Clean Investor, Tuesday March 8: China outlines clean energy ambitions

RI’s regular Tuesday review of clean investing news

The Chinese government plans to build 235m kilowatts of power generation capacity from clean energy in the next five years, according to its latest draft Five-Year Plan. At least 70m KW of wind power capacity and 5m kw of solar power capacity will be created, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Initial talks on a plan to create the United Nations-backed Green Climate Fund have been postponed, according to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change website. Representatives from 40 countries had been scheduled to meet in Mexico City on March 14 and 15 to discuss the initiative.

CIBC, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, says it has raised or extended more than C$4bn (€2.9bn) in capital for renewable energy developers since 2002. According to its latest Corporate Responsibility Report, CIBC’s wholesale bank division created a team of specialists in 2010 to focus on renewable energy and clean technology sectors and appointed a new vice chairman to head up the area. CIBC home page

The European Carbon Fund, the pioneer carbon fund backed by France’s Caisse des Dépôts among others, has funded 26 carbon reducing projects in seven countries in areas such copies as energy efficiency, renewable energy and methane recovery.

Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group, the Canadian asset manager with C$39bn under management, has formed a partnership to invest in rooftop solar systems in Ontario. Its infrastructure arm has teamed up with CarbonFree Technology in the venture, BrightRoof Solar.

Qualifying shareholders in China-based, NASDAQ-listed solar power firm JA Solar Holdings will have access to a sum of $4.5m as a result of the settlement of a securities class action lawsuit, the company said. The suit dates back to December 2008.

Google Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Internet giant, has announced an investment in an energy conversion technology firm called Transphorm. Google, Kleiner Perkins and other investors announced a $20m funding round for the firm, which aims to cut energy losses from converting alternating current.

Rating agency Standard & Poor’s has released a report on the potential financial impact of carbon costs on airlines’ credit quality. “Airline Carbon Costs Take Off As EU Emissions Regulations Reach For The Skies” is available to subscribers at*Ceres, the US environmental investor coalition* has released a report, titled: “Disclosing Climate Risks & Opportunities in SEC Filings: A Guide for Corporate Executives, Attorneys & Directors”. It comes one year after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued formal interpretive guidance for companies on climate-related information they should be disclosing to investors in their 10-Ks or 20-Fs, as well as quarterly filings. Link to Ceres

The UK’s Carbon Trust and German industrial group Siemens’ Siemens Financial Services Ltd. have teamed up to provide UK businesses with green equipment finance worth up to £550m (€638.8m) over the next three years. Firms will be able to apply for the finance from April 4.

Corporate finance advisory firm London Bridge Capital has released a survey on the cleantech market. It found that 88% of investors have either recently raised funds, are actively raising funds or are expecting to do so within the next year. Over 70% were expecting to increase allocations.

News Corporation has become carbon neutral across all its global operations, according to a letter to staff by Rupert Murdoch. He said the company had made a bold commitment in 2007 to embed the values of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability into all of its businesses for the benefit of communities and the company bottom line.

Goodman & Co. Investment Counsel, the Canadian investment company with C$12bn (€8.8bn) in assets, has backed plans to create a new geothermal, hydro and wind power company to be called Alterra Power Corp. It has approved the proposed merger between Toronto-listed renewables firms Magma Energy and Plutonic Power into Alterra – which will have a market capitalisation of around $575m.

Silver Lake Kraftwerk is the new energy and resource partnership between $14bn private investment firm Silver Lake and Soros Fund Management. With offices in Silicon Valley and China, it will be led by Adam Grosser, a former General Partner at Foundation Capital. Cathy Zoi, the Obama administration’s outgoing Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, will join in April.

GT Solar International, the NASDAQ-listed solar technology firm in which Fidelity has a 14.9% stake, has reached an agreement in principle to settle two putative securities class-action lawsuits related to its July 2008 initial public offering. It will pay $10.5m into a settlement fund. A shareholder derivative action pending in New Hampshire state court is not part of the settlement. Release