News Roundup: Vision Ridge, Capricorn Close $430M ‘Sustainable Asset’ Fund

Take a quick look at several recent news items, including new funds in New York and Abu Dhabi and Stanford’s take on India’s ambitious solar goals:

Vision Ridge, Capricorn Close $430M ‘Sustainable Asset’ Fund

The Sustainable Asset Fund, a new vehicle by Vision Ridge Partners and Capricorn Investment Group that focuses on clean energy and sustainable resource use, closed at $430 million, the companies say in a statement. The fund is one of the largest in the space and, the founders say, one of the only private investment funds to focus on later-stage clean energy companies.

Launched in partnership with the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, the fund’s investments include an electric vehicle fleet provider, energy efficiency financing for commercial and industrial customers, and solar projects in Japan, California, Florida and Massachusetts, according to the statement.

New York Creates $5 Billion Clean Energy Fund

The state of New York has created a $5 billion clean energy fund aimed at accelerating the growth of clean energy projects. The fund, announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in late January, is expected to attract up to $29 billion in additional private sector investments, the state said in a release.

Among the fund’s aims will subsidizing solar energy, encouraging private sector investments in clean energy, supporting energy efficiency programs in residential and commercial buildings, and supporting energy research and development, the Associated Press reports.

The fund is being administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Green Bonds Set to Soar in 2016; China Issues $4.6B in Green Bonds

The green bond market could nearly double this year to $158 billion, according to HSBC. Bloomberg says a new HSBC report forecasts new green bond issuances this year will be between $55 billion and $80 billion, a sharp increase over the record $41 billion issued last year.

Moody’s, meanwhile, says green bond issuance could top $50 billion this year. Institutional, high-net-worth and retail investor interest will drive issuance, as will regulatory encouragements and new guidance issued in China and India recently, Moody’s says.

China has already issued green bonds this year: the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and China Industrial Bank raised a combined 30 billion yuan ($4.6 billion) through green bonds issued in late January, according to Carbon Pulse.

The bonds were issued with 2.95% coupons. The two banks have each received approval to issue green bonds worth 50 billion yuan over the next three years.

Abu Dhabi Pledges $10 Billion in Sustainable Financing 

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) says it will put $10 billion toward sustainability-focused projects over the next 10 years.

The projects will include renewable energy as well as water, waste management, energy efficiency and clean transportation, the bank says in a statement.  NBAD will “lend, invest and facilitate” $10 billion worth of investments in such efforts over the next decade.

Oil and gas are currently used to generate nearly all the power used by the United Arab Emirates, Bloomberg reports, but the country has said it will move aggressively to developing renewable energy. In November, Dubai announced a goal of getting 25 percent of its electricity by 2030, according to Bloomberg.

India Can Hit its Solar Target, Study Says

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pledge that India will deploy 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2022 has been met with some skepticism, but that figure is in fact attainable, says a report by Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance.

To hit that ambitious target, India will need three different types of solar, says the report: utility-scale solar farms; distributed solar systems, such as panels on homes and businesses in cities; and solar projects in rural areas, independent of the larger grid. India will also need reforms in its federal and state governments, according to the report.

Meeting the goal would be “a huge accomplishment for a nation that is currently on a path to overtake China and the U.S. as the world’s largest carbon emitter,” says Dan Reicher, executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center and interim president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy.


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