Monday, January 28, 2013

(BN) Europe Clean-Energy Funding Beats U.S. on Wind Expansion

(Bloomberg ) Europe's development bank arranged the most loans for clean-energy projects last year, pushing ahead of the U.S. government as it financed some of the world's biggest offshore wind farms. 

The European Investment Bank loaned $2.16 billion for the industry in 2012 with 18 deals including funds for a wind farm in the Baltic Sea owned by EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG (EBK), according to an annual ranking by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Brazil's state-lender was second, and the U.S. Federal Financing Bank, which led a year ago, dropped out of the top 20.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (8306) ranked third after banking crises in the U.S. and Europe dried up funds from commercial lenders worldwide. The biggest and third biggest financing deals of the year were for offshore wind farms.

"The EIB has played a vital role in financing large renewable energy projects in the last few years as commercial banks have been constrained by balance sheet pressures," said Angus McCrone, senior analyst for New Energy Finance.

The rankings by the London-based research group detail the companies most active in financing the renewable energy industry last year. Total investment dropped 11 percent to $268.7 billion for industry segments including wind, solar, biofuels and biomass power generation. Asset finance for utility-scale projects fell 17 percent to $148.6 billion.

Investment Plunge

Investment dropped as much as 32 percent in the U.S., 51 percent in Italy and 68 percent in Spain. That offset gains in China, which became the world's biggest clean energy investor last year, and in other developing nations.

In private equity and venture capital, HEAG SuedHessische Energie AG invested the most through its $355.7 million acquisition from EON SE of a stake in Suedgessische Energie, a utility based in Darmstadt, Germany, that develops wind, solar and bioenergy projects. Emerald Technology Ventures AG completed the most number of deals, followed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) led public market transactions in 2012, with Shanghai-based Guotai Junan Securities Co. in the second position.

Goldman completed three deals valued at $405.6 million including a share offering by Tesla Motors Corp. and the initial public offering of Solarcity Corp. (SCTY) Morgan Stanley (MS) dropped to the 13th spot after leading in 2011 and 2009. Goldman last led in 2010.

"Last year was a very disappointing one for public market investment in clean energy, with the total raised down 57 percent to $5.1 billion, the lowest since 2004," McCrone said. "But Goldman emerged as the lead manager for two of the most interesting issues of the year."

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