Preqin’s Infrastructure Online service currently tracks 174 North America-based institutions investing in infrastructure via the clean technology industry. These 174 institutions have aggregate assets under management of more than $7.5tn and, on average, currently allocate approximately 3% of total assets to the infrastructure asset class, with an average target allocation of 5%. Of these investors, a sizeable 96% look to gain access to the asset class via unlisted funds. Twenty-seven percent of the investor pool seek exposure via direct investments, while 19% invest in listed fund vehicles.
One of the largest players within the infrastructure market, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), a $296bn public pension fund, currently allocates 1.3% of total assets to infrastructure and actively considers investment opportunities within the clean technology industry. Most recently, CalPERS made a $40mn commitment to USRG Power and Biofuels Fund III, a fund which specifically targets North America-based clean technology investment opportunities.
In 2014, worldwide infrastructure funds which specifically include clean technology within their investment focus secured more than $3.8bn in capital commitments. Of the funds targeting clean technology that held a final close in 2014, only 13% considered North America as its primary region of focus. Thirty-three percent of these funds focused primarily on investments in Europe and 27% on Asia, while the remaining 27% looked to invest in Australasia, Africa or the Americas. Interestingly, however, of the 174 North America-based investors in clean technology, 91% reported that they would consider domestic investment, compared to 68% who would consider investing in clean technology on a global scale. This confirms that domestic firms exhibit the strongest appetite for North America-focused clean technology investment.