Due to the impact of global warming and the growing need for alternative sources of energy, unlisted infrastructure fund managers are increasingly interested in the renewable energy infrastructure sector. Preqin currently tracks 98 infrastructure fund managers with a specific focus on renewable energy industries, including solar, wind, biomass, hydro and geothermal power.
These 98 firms have launched 124 renewable energy-focused infrastructure vehicles, 72 of which have held a final close, having raised an aggregate $22.3bn in investor capital. The remaining 52 renewable energy funds are currently on the road and seeking to raise a further $15.5bn, which amounts to 16% of the overall aggregate capital currently being sought by infrastructure funds on the road.
In terms of the geographical location of renewable energy fund managers, the majority (49%) are based in Europe. Prominent European countries include the UK (17%), Switzerland (6%) and Spain (5%). North America provides a base for a further 28% of renewable energy infrastructure fund managers, the majority of which are based in the US. The remaining 23% of renewable energy firms are situated in Asia (14%) and Rest of World (9%).
Europe is also the dominant region in terms of primary fund focus. Forty-three percent of the renewable energy fund managers primarily invest in European opportunities, while 26% target North American assets and 32% target assets in Asia and Rest of World. In terms of project stage, 72% of these firms target developmental greenfield projects, while 63% consider brownfield assets and 50% target secondary stage opportunities.
Prime Renewables, managed by German fund manager Prime Capital, is the largest renewable energy infrastructure fund currently in market, and is targeting €600mn. The closed-end unlisted fund targets European assets, focusing on low complexity technologies such as solar PV and onshore wind power. Other notable renewable energy funds in market include Actis Infrastructure Fund III, seeking $750mn, and China District Energy Fund, targeting €500mn.