Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

Businessweek Archives

Project Financing Favors Big Renewable Players

Contracting financial markets have drastically reduced funding options for renewables projects. Or have they? Late last month, British utility Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) — one of the country’s largest renewables operators — announced its new £700 million ($1 billion) five-year bond issuance was “twice over-subscribed.” What’s more, the company’s finance director, Gregor Alexander, added there was “significant interest from retail investors.”

That’s a slightly different picture from recent headlines suggesting that finance for green biz has all but dried up. In fact, the SSE announcement shows that investors — as always what happens during economic tough times — are becoming savvier where they put their money. Cash-rich utility SSE (last year, it bought Irish wind-energy producer Airtricty for $1.2 billion) currently looks like a safe bet. The company must invest in renewables projects to meet obligations under Europe’s cap-and-trade CO2 mechanism, which guarantees a good rate-of-return. That’s a lot different from a project, say, financed by a clean-tech fund, which doesn’t have the deep pockets of a utility or the guarantee of secure revenues streams.

So what does this mean for renewables projects? “There’s a lot of money out there at the moment, but only for projects that have a low-risk profile,” says a banker who works in the sector. “That favors the utility players.”

And who could benefit from this financing? America’s top three wind-energy producers currently are FPL Group, Spain’s Iberdrola Renovables, and Portugal’s EDP Renovaveis. As investors become risk-averse, such large utility companies soon may come to dominate the renewable energy sector.

blog comments powered by Disqus