European Renewable Energy Investment Review 3Q13

Welcome to Taylor Wessing’s analysis of clean energy investment activity in the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13). As we review this quarter’s investment activity, one is reminded of the opening line of Dickens’ classic novel A Tale of Two Cities: ‘It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.’

Times are certainly tough for young early-stage European clean energy companies. Venture capital and private equity firms only invested $75m (£47m) in European clean energy companies (excluding buyouts) in 3Q13, 70 per cent below the $246m invested in 2Q13 and 75 per cent below the $296m invested in the corresponding period in 2012. In fact, venture capital and private equity investment is now at a two-year low.

In complete contrast, the volume of capital raised by European clean energy companies on the public markets reached a two-year high in 3Q13. Some $684m was secured through three initial public offerings (IPOs), the two most notable deals being clean energy infrastructure funds, The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG) and Bluefield Solar Income Fund, which secured $461m and $197m respectively through IPOs in 3Q13. We expect this trend to continue. For example, UK asset manager Foresight Group has launched a $320m IPO of its solar infrastructure fund, which will likely be completed before the end of the year…

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