Clean Investor, January 11: ATP-linked venture firm in cleantech investment

RI’s new regular Tuesday review of clean investing news

A Danish venture capital firm closely linked to pension giant ATP has made a further investment in cleantech firm Beneq. Via Venture Partners – whose sole limited partner is ATP – has teamed up with Finland’s state-owned Finnish Industry Investment to put €9m in the high-tech industrial group. Link

Global public and private pension funds, insurers and endowments are among the investors in the now closed Brazil Agriland Fund, run by Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management. The fund has total committed capital of US$330m. Brookfield has more than US$100bn in assets under management. Link

Institutional investors are revisiting their asset allocation models and are now looking at environmental investing “in detail” says specialist fund firm Impax Asset Management. Impax revealed its assets under management have risen to £2.25bn (€1.9bn), while pre-tax profits more than doubled to £5.2m. Meanwhile, Impact announced a third close of its New Energy Investors II renewable energy fund at €275m. Announcement

DnB NOR, Norway’s largest financial services group, has backed a new wind power project by Sweden’s Arise Windpower AB. It has signed a loan agreement with Arise for the 22.5 MW, nine-turbine Fröslida project. DnB NOR’s aims to “promote sustainable development through responsible business operations which emphasise environmental, ethical and social considerations”. Release
Australian CleanTech has launched the CleanTech Angels Network, providing a connection service between cleantech companies and potential investors. Companies involved in areas such as household solar systems, energy efficient building, resource efficient DVDs, wave energy, high productivity food production and solar manufacturing have information available for investors. Link

GreenX, the environmental markets firm part-owned by Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, ICAP, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley, has reported a surge in monthly volume. It saw 43.8m tonnes of volume in its New York Mercantile Exchange-listed products in December 2010 – up 237% on November’s record. Release

A new US Clean Energy Leadership Index has been launched by advisory firm Clean Edge. Aimed at investors, policy makers and other stakeholders, it ranks states for the clean tech performance. Link*The WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index (NEX) of 100 clean energy stocks worldwide, fell* 14.6% in 2010 compared to a 12.8% gain for the broad‐market US S&P 500 index and a 16.9% rise for the Nasdaq Composite. Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which publishes the NEX, said the weak performance of clean energy stocks in 2010 came despite strong investment in new clean energy capacity around the world last year. It said investment in assets such as wind farms, solar parks and biofuel plants, and funding of specialist companies by the public markets and venture capital and private equity players, surpassed the equivalent figures for 2009 and 2008. In 2010, NEX-listed companies providing energy efficiency products and services, from “smart grids” to power management and electric vehicles, saw their shares rise by an average of 19.5%. However companies involved in the wind energy sector suffered average share price falls of 37%, while those active in solar power experienced falls of 26% on average. Biofuel and biomass stocks were down 1% in 2010, and battery and other power storage stocks down 15%.

Global Energy Investors, the Massachusetts renewable project equity firm, is to close the first round of its first infrastructure, renewable energy-focused fund, by the end of the first quarter, according to a report in New Energy World Network. Link

The global clean power sector could attract $2.3trn (€1.8trn) of investment by 2020 in the G20 group of countries, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts, the $5bn US non-profit organisation. Pew has issued a report Global Clean Power: A $2.3 Trillion Opportunity which looks at projected private investment in wind, solar, biomass/energy from waste, small hydro, geothermal and marine energy projects.

2011 will likely be “a record year for cleantech innovation financing” according to Sheeraz Haji, chief executive of Cleantech Group. The research and advisory group says 2010 saw a total of $7.8bn of clean technology venture investments in North America, Europe, China and India in 715 deals. Cleantech venture investment was up by 28% over 2009. Report

The Wellcome Trust, the £13bn (€15.6bn) charitable foundation, has released a video on the potential upside in terms of health and economic impact of global climate change. It argues that measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will have health ‘co-benefits’. Link