2 December 2015

EF BRIEFS: SunEdison, Generation IM, EDC, Kingfisher, RWE, Drax

India plans $1bn private equity fund for renewables

India is planning to launch a $1 billion private equity fund to invest in its domestic renewable energy sector, according to the country's energy minister, Piyush Goyal.

The fund, which will be seeded using investment from state-owned companies, will aim to raise $4 billion each year over its lifetime, which is expected to be between three and four years.

In February, India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, pledged to deploy 100GW of new renewable energy projects within three years, and 175GW by the end of the decade.

SunEdison pulls out of $250m Brazilian renewables deal

SunEdison has pulled out of $250 million deal to purchase a 16% stake in the renewable energy firm Renova from Brazilian utility Light.

The deal will also see SunEdison terminate its 'right of first offer' agreement on Renova's $4 billion pipeline of renewable energy assets, which would have allowed it to buy the projects as they became operational.

The company's share price has plummeted recently: in July it was trading at a high of $31.60, but is currently trading at $3.60 per share.


Generation IM, Richard Branson and Steve Case back Kenyan solar firm

Al Gore's Generation Investment Management has led a $19 million equity round for a Kenyan solar firm.

M-Kopa Solar provides 'pay-as-you-go' energy to off-grid homes in East Africa, and has secured backing from Generation, as well as Virgin founder Richard Branson, AOL founder Steve Case and further investment from existing shareholders.

The company is aiming to provide rooftop solar to 1 million homes by the end of 2017.

Export Development Canada issues second green bond

Export Development Canada (EDC), the country's development bank, has issued its second green bond in a C$300 million ($224 million) deal.

The bond has a maturity of three years and a coupon of 1.25%.

Proceeds will be used to finance EDC's portfolio of green assets, including loans made to companies that are active in the protection or remediation of air, water and soil, renewable energy and climate mitigation projects.

Lead underwriters for the deal were Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Crédit Agricole and Morgan Stanley.


Kingfisher to pump £50m into renewables after success of solar at head office

Home improvement chain Kingfisher will invest £50 million ($75 million) into renewable energy in a bid to cut its conventional-energy consumption by 10%.

The firm, which owns B&Q and Screwfix, wants to slash the levels of energy it gets from the national grid by using distributed renewables, including rooftop solar, for its facilities the UK and France. Ultimately, Kingfisher plans to roll out the programme across the majority of the 10 countries in which it operates.

The decision to invest £50 million was prompted by the successful installation and performance of distributed solar at Screwfix's head office and contact centre.

"We hope our renewables investment helps demonstrate to the world's leaders discussing the climate deal this week that leading businesses want a sustainable future, and to see the right deal in Paris," said Richard Gillies, sustainability director for Kingfisher.

RWE and Drax share price rally EU decision

Shares in RWE and Drax have rallied, following an EU decision to allow the UK government to support the conversion of a power station from coal to biomass.

The government's approval was challenged on the grounds that it may contravene EU laws around state support for the fossil fuel industry, but has now been permitted.

German utility RWE owns the power station. Its share price rose from €10 to €13 on the back of the announcement. Shares are currently trading at €12.49.

Drax, which owns and operates the largest power station in the UK, is awaiting a similar ruling by the EU court. As a result of RWE's verdict, its share price was also up – increasing to £264 from £218 on the news. Shares are currently trading at £252.