The Latest Sustainable Energy News from Low Carbon

Renewables considered as good a return for pension investments as fossil fuels, according to new poll

Britons believe pension investments in renewables such as solar power deliver as good a return as investments on traditional commodities such as oil and gas, according to a new ComRes poll commissioned by energy policy specialists the Whitehouse Consultancy.

Nearly a third of respondents believed renewable technologies including solar and wind would yield the greatest return (32%), despite recent high profile campaigns which have highlighted pension fund holdings in fossil fuels. 18% said solar power would provide the greatest returns, while 7% said wind and 7% said hydropower.

A total of thirty-three percent of Britons expected higher pension returns on traditional commodities of oil and gas (18%), nuclear (14%) and coal (1%). Only 1% of respondents thought investment in coal would provide the greatest return. The Whitehouse Consultancy has suggested the findings show the successful promotion of renewables as pension investment options, and the limited success of existing fossil fuel campaigns.

People in Scotland were more likely to say that investment in renewables would lead to the greatest return with nearly half (44%) believing this to be the case, and people in Wales thought that investment in solar in particular would yield the greatest returns (19%).

Helen Munro, Managing Director of the Whitehouse Consultancy, said: “This poll shows that the public are aware of some of the benefits of investing in renewable technologies. However, we would argue that the pensions industry can do more to educate the public on what their pensions are being invested in, and the likely returns on that investment. Otherwise, the opportunities of investment in renewables might be lost – which is disappointing for investors and will negatively impact on the development of renewables. This will be crucial in the coming years as the UK accelerates the rate of decarbonisation to meet the targets of the 2008 Climate Change Act, and as we as a society attempt to mitigate against climate change.”

Nigel Labram of Low Carbon, said: “It is great to see that the public are aware of the excellent investment outlook for clean technologies such as solar PV. The renewables sector is a huge success story for the UK economy; with jobs in the industry growing at more than seven times the national average and I am pleased the public are increasingly recognising this”

“There is a growing public mandate for pension funds to divest their unsustainable holdings in fossil fuels, and this poll is an important addition to that evidence base. But it is critical that divested funds are matched by a similar increase in investment in clean alternatives. With the Paris climate conference taking place in December, this year represents a unique opportunity for managers to build innovative investment models that embrace the proven returns available in the green economy”.

Poll results

Q: Which ONE of the following industries do you think provides the greatest long-term return on investment for pension funds?

Oil & gas 18%
Solar 18%
Nuclear 14%
Wind 7%
Hydropower / Tidal 7%
Coal 1%
Don’t know 36%

Base: GB adults (n=2,001)

Methodology Note: ComRes interviewed 2,001 British adults online between 5th and 7th June 2015. Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

 

Ends

 

The Whitehouse Consultancy

The Whitehouse Consultancy is a Westminster-based specialist in public affairs and political communications with a particular expertise in energy policy.

www.whitehouseconsulting.co.uk

 

About Low Carbon

Low Carbon is a privately owned investment company committed to the development and operation of renewable energy power production. Low Carbon invests into both renewable energy developers and projects across a range of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, anaerobic digestion and concentrated solar power. Low Carbon has a strong management team with a proven track record in the development, construction, financing and management of renewable energy assets. For UK solar alone, Low Carbon has funded and is operating more than 270MW. Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term with a dedicated asset management team that currently manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

 

Ben Ainslie Racing and Low Carbon take the lead in sports team sustainability

As construction on the new home of Ben Ainslie Racing nears completion, the team and Low Carbon call on sports teams to consider how they can use their influence to drive change.

16 June 2015 – Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR), spearheaded by Olympic multi-gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie, has called on sporting organisations in the UK to use their clout to educate and inform the public about the importance of being more environmentally friendly, as the construction of the BAR team’s new energy-efficient headquarters in Portsmouth reaches its final stages.

BAR’s new state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility will house all of the team’s activities from design to sailing, sports science to marketing. The home of BAR will champion sport, innovation, technology and sustainability, with a visitor and education centre providing an accessible showcase for sustainable best practice, and renewable energy sources, such as roof-mounted solar panels supplied by renewable energy investment company Low Carbon, contributing to the building’s power needs.

“As societal role models, sports teams are in a privileged position. They have the power to drive positive change through setting an example and drawing attention to the issues that matter, such as sustainability,” said Sir Ben Ainslie, BAR’s Team Principal and America’s Cup winner. “As a team we are striving to become a truly sustainable business, however our ambitions extend far beyond this. We want to lead the way by educating and inspiring younger generations to drive sustainability forward.”

A long-term partnership with Low Carbon, will see high-performance solar panels installed across three floors of the building, helping the new home of BAR to achieve BREEAM Excellent standard – the benchmark in sustainable building design, construction and operation – upon completion in September 2015. The solar panels will have a capacity of 114kW contributing approximately 130,000kWh of clean energy per year towards the team’s energy needs – enough to power more than 40 homes, while saving over 60 tonnes of CO2.

Roy Bedlow, Low Carbon co-founder and chief executive, commented: “Low Carbon and BAR share the same goal of mitigating the negative effects of climate change. Sports teams such as BAR can play a powerful role in educating consumers about the need for greater sustainability and driving positive change. Visitors to the team’s site will not only see the solar panels in situ but also see the benefits of them whilst in the base. Continuing to educate consumers is the key to unlocking greater adoption of renewable energy across businesses and households, and we look forward to continuing our long-term relationship with BAR.”

 Ends

Notes to Editors

About Ben Ainslie Racing

Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) was launched on June 10th 2014 in the presence of the Duchess of Cambridge. The team was conceived by four times Olympic gold medallist and 34th America’s Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie, with the long-term aim of challenging for Britain and bringing the America’s Cup back home to where it all began in 1851. Ben will develop and lead a British entry capable of winning the prestigious trophy, something Britain has so far never managed to achieve.

BAR is a commercial sporting team, with a number of individual private investors alongside corporate partners. The team is made up of some of the best British and international sailors, designers, builders and racing support.

www.benainslieracing.com

About Low Carbon

Low Carbon is a privately owned investment company committed to the development and operation of renewable energy power production. Low Carbon invests into both renewable energy developers and projects across a range of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, anaerobic digestion and concentrated solar power. Low Carbon has a strong management team with a proven track record in the development, construction, financing and management of renewable energy assets. For UK solar alone, Low Carbon has funded and is operating more than 270MW. Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term with a dedicated asset management team that currently manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

www.lowcarbon.com

About Roy Bedlow

Roy Bedlow is Low Carbon’s co-founder and Chief Executive and Trustee of the 1851 Trust. He is a founder member of the Carbon War Room and a Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Roy also sits on the Board of the energy efficiency technology company, enModus and the Board of the educational development company, Sparx.

Low Carbon raises £106m in UK solar refinancing deal

LONDON, May 27, 2015 – Low Carbon, the leading renewable energy investor, is pleased to announce the completion of its £106 million refinancing deal with Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions (MIDIS) for part of its existing portfolio of operational UK solar parks.

The refinancing deal includes a combination of RPI-linked and fixed-rate debt. The deal enables Low Carbon to continue its momentum in driving scale in the development of clean, renewable energy.

With a strong track record in funding and managing solar assets, Low Carbon has developed one of the largest portfolios of solar parks across the UK, with over 270MW funded and in operation today. The twelve solar parks refinanced in this deal were developed and constructed under the stewardship of Low Carbon and have been in operation for at least one year. Operated under the UK’s Feed-in Tariff (FiT) and Renewables Obligation (RO) subsidy regimes by Low Carbon, the solar parks generate a total of 99.2MW in renewable energy – enough to power approximately 29,800 homes and save more than 47,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Juan Martin Alfonso, Chief Financial Officer, Low Carbon said: “We are delighted to announce this multi-asset refinancing deal. This transaction ensures the alignment of long term institutional funding to our operational assets capital structure, taking scale with flexible portfolio terms, and further capital to finance future projects into account. The deal will allow us to support our ambition to strengthen the UK’s supply of renewable energy.”

Roy Bedlow, Chief Executive and Co-Founder, Low Carbon added: “Appetite for renewable energy investments is continuing to grow, as investors seek sustainable options which still deliver high returns. The scale of this deal underlines the growing trend towards more sustainable investments which we are seeing in the market today.”

 

ENDS

 

About Low Carbon

Low Carbon is a privately owned investment company committed to the development and operation of renewable energy power production. Low Carbon invests into both renewable energy developers and projects across a range of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, anaerobic digestion and concentrated solar power. Low Carbon has a strong management team with a proven track record in the development, construction, financing and management of renewable energy assets. For UK solar alone, Low Carbon has funded and is operating more than 270MW. Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term with a dedicated asset management team that currently manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

Low Carbon’s solar parks to power 25,300 UK homes

Low Carbon announces five newly commissioned solar sites, producing 84.3MW

Renewable energy investment company, Low Carbon, today announces the addition of five newly commissioned sites to its solar portfolio. These new sites will save in excess of 36,000 tonnes of CO2 per year and power more than 25,300 UK homes.

The solar parks being announced by Low Carbon are:

  • Berwick, East Sussex: 8.2 MW
  • Bottom Plain, Dorset: 10.1MW
  • Branston, Lincolnshire:18.9MW
  • Emberton, Buckinghamshire: 9.0MW
  • Great Wilbraham, Cambridgeshire: 38.1MW – Low Carbon’s largest solar park to date

In the past year, Low Carbon has commissioned twelve solar parks totalling 157.7MW and saving in excess of 67,600 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of 21,400 fewer cars on the road each year.[1] Additionally, these sites generate sufficient renewable energy to power up to 47,478 homes.

Commenting on the new sites, Steve Hunter Head of Investments at Low Carbon said, “This strong portfolio of newly commissioned sites allows us not only to deliver long-term growth, but is an example of our continued fight against the causes of climate change. By generating enough renewable energy to power more than 47,000 homes, we play a part in decarbonising, diversifying and securing the long-term energy supply of the UK. We look forward to expanding our portfolio even further to deliver renewable energy to more homes across the country.”

Hunter added: “All these sites have been developed and constructed under the stewardship of Low Carbon demonstrating our strong track record as a leading UK solar investor. Solar is a credible, proven technology with a stable generation profile and we remain committed to the UK renewable energy industry”.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

About Low Carbon

Low Carbon is a privately owned investment company, committed to the development and operation of renewable energy power production.  Low Carbon invests into both renewable energy developers and projects across a range of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, anaerobic digestion and concentrated solar power. Low Carbon has a strong management team with a proven track record in the development, construction, financing and management of UK solar assets, with over 270MW funded and in operation today.  Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term.  Low Carbon has a dedicated asset management team that currently manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

www.lowcarbon.com

 

[1] Based on average petrol engine cars travelling an average mileage of 10,168 (RAC 2014) miles per year and DEFRA carbon conversion factors

Low Carbon partners with Ben Ainslie Racing to power team HQ

BAR HQ will provide a showcase for clean energy

Low Carbon partnership will power team’s HQ during bid to bring America’s Cup to Britain

Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) is leading the sporting world in sustainability, in its bid to bring the 35th America’s Cup to the UK.

The sailing team, formed by Olympic multi-gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie, is announcing a long-term partnership with renewables investor Low Carbon. The partnership will provide the team with clean energy as it develops its 2017 bid for the world’s oldest international sporting trophy.

Low Carbon will ensure the team’s headquarters – currently under construction on the Camber in Portsmouth – is powered by the very latest, high efficiency solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. The initial target is to supply 90% of the team’s electricity power needs, with this improving to 100% once energy monitoring is implemented.

Low Carbon is committed to mitigating climate change by encouraging, wherever possible, the reduction of carbon emissions.  Investing capital into renewable energy, the firm’s investment model embraces solar PV, concentrated solar power, wind and bio-waste technologies. Within less than four years, Low Carbon has developed more than 270MW of UK solar power. A broader international portfolio exceeding 2GW is in the pipeline.

The partnership will greatly support BAR’s efforts to run a sustainable business with clean energy. It will also see the team’s HQ accorded BREEAM ‘Excellent’ status – the hallmark of excellence in sustainable building. The BAR HQ is expected to be completed in the summer of 2015.

Commenting on the partnership, Low Carbon’s Chief Executive Roy Bedlow said: “I’m very excited by this long-term partnership, and with the prospect of making a key contribution to a true British success story. With Low Carbon and BAR sharing an ethos of sustainability, responsibility and mitigating the effects of climate change, I believe that together we can continue to make a difference for the better, long into the future.”

BAR’s Team Principal, the four-time Olympic medallist and America’s Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie commented, “We’re delighted to be on board with Low Carbon, and this new partnership takes us a long way towards our goal of sustainable, clean energy for our new base.”

Bedlow adds: “This project has exciting implications for renewable energy. Because the BAR philosophy is about educating and engaging locally, the project will be a fantastic showcase for how large buildings can be almost entirely sustainable.”

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Business, Enterprise and Energy, said “This is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate that Britain is not only a sporting world leader but also a leader in innovative technology. Britain is at the cutting edge of solar power, which not only benefits the environment but has the potential to create jobs and secure energy supplies. Sir Ben Ainslie’s project truly builds on Portsmouth and Britain’s global reputation as a centre of technology, sports, marine and maritime excellence.”

In a separate initiative, Roy Bedlow is joining the board of the team’s charity as a Trustee. Launched in October 2014, the 1851 Trust seeks to inspire and engage a new generation through sailing and the marine industry, providing young people with the education, skills and training required to become innovators of the future, and stewards of the marine environment.

 

Notes to Editors

About Ben Ainslie Racing

Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) was launched on June 10th 2014 in the presence of the Duchess of Cambridge. The team was conceived by four times Olympic gold medalist and 34th America’s Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie, with the long-term aim of challenging for Britain and bringing the America’s Cup back home to where it all began in 1851. Ben will develop and lead a British entry capable of winning the prestigious trophy, something Britain has so far never managed to achieve.

BAR is a commercial sporting team, with a number of individual private investors alongside corporate partners. The team is made up of some of the best British and international sailors, designers, builders and racing support.

land-rover-bar.americascup.com/

 

About Low Carbon

Low Carbon is a privately owned investment company, committed to the development and operation of renewable energy power production.  Low Carbon invests into both renewable energy developers and projects across a range of renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, anaerobic digestion and concentrated solar power.

Low Carbon has a strong management team with a proven track record in the development, construction, financing and management of UK solar assets, with over 270MW funded and in construction and operation today.  Low Carbon remains involved in the projects for the long term.  Low Carbon has a dedicated asset management team that currently manages assets on balance sheet and for third parties (unlisted and listed).

http://www.lowcarbon.com/

 

About Roy Bedlow

Roy Bedlow is Low Carbon’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive. He is a founder member of the Carbon War Room: an international NGO and thought leader tasked with creating market-based solutions to climate change. Roy also sits on the Board of Andromeda Capital, a private equity firm investing in climate change and education, and the Board of Sparx, which is developing new technology to revolutionize learning.