Published: 28 July 2014
New investment platform for Australian clean energy infrastructure
Australian superfunds and other institutional investors are increasingly looking for investments that reduce their emissions exposures. A recently established unlisted clean energy infrastructure investment platform may be the answer.
The Moree Solar Farm (artist’s impression), a large-scale solar PV plant being constructed near Moree in northern NSW, is among the projects the CEFC has invested in.
Credit: Moree Solar Farm
Commonwealth statutory authority The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has announced an agreement with Colonial First State Global Asset Management (CFSGAM) to establish Australia's first unlisted clean energy direct infrastructure investment platform for institutional investors, the CFS Australian Clean Energy Infrastructure Fund.
The CEFC invests to overcome market barriers and mobilise investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies. Colonial First State Global Asset Management (CFSGAM) is the consolidated asset management division of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
The CEFC will provide up to $80 million to the new Fund as the initial cornerstone investor in the wholesale infrastructure investment platform that will invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency or low emissions technology. To grow the opportunity, CFSGAM will seek to raise a further $300-$500 million over the next three to five years.
The platform will commence investing immediately in both green field developments ready for construction and mature operating assets using established eligible technologies.
CEFC Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Yates says Australian institutional investors are looking for ways to invest in clean energy but need a mechanism for doing so.
‘Australian superannuation funds have been increasing their investment in infrastructure over the last decade and have an estimated $40 to $65 billion now invested in the sector,’ says Mr Yates.
‘At the same time, a growing number of these funds and their members want to invest in the clean energy and new energy efficient technology sectors to take advantage of their strong growth and future potential. The establishment of Australia's first clean-energy focused wholesale infrastructure platform will meet this need and help develop this market for the benefit of existing investors and attract new institutions to the sector.’
Superannuation funds and other institutional investors have increasingly recognised that reducing the emissions exposures in their portfolios is a strategic investment priority, but finding such investments has proved a challenge.