Investment Funds Buy Into EU Offshore Wind Farms

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By Reuters 2016-07-27 20:56:12

Infrastructure and pension funds have increased their ownership share of new European offshore wind farms to more than a quarter, industry figures showed, underlining growing interest among institutional investors in renewable energy assets.

Funds invested in some 130 megawatts (MW), or 25 percent, of European offshore wind capacity connected to the grid during the first half of the year, statistics released by industry group WindEurope showed on Wednesday. This compares with a share of 14 percent in the whole of 2015.

Many institutional investors have started to tweak investment choices away from carbon-emitting activities and in favour of companies and projects which support fighting climate change, including green energy projects.

Norway's $860 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world's biggest, for instance said in April it had sold shares in over 50 coal-dependent companies as part of a policy to fight climate change.

Denmark's PKA pension fund was the largest institutional investor in European offshore wind in the first half of the year, accounting for just over 11 percent of all investments in connected offshore wind capacity.

Other institutional investors included infrastructure fund Global Infrastructure Partners and Denmark's industrial workers' pension fund Industriens Pension.

WindEurope said it expected a dip in new offshore wind farm connections this year as new projects are slow to come forward.

"The pipeline for new projects in Europe is not sufficient and there is a risk Europe will lose its competitive edge in offshore wind if we don't see further commitments on deployment soon," a spokesman said. Total new offshore wind farm capacity connected to the grid fell 80 percent year on year in the first half of 2016.