<body> --------------
Contact Us       Consulting       Projects       Our Goals       About Us
home » Archive »
Nature Blog Network

    Virent Energy Systems, Inc. announced today that it has closed a US$21 million second round of venture financing. Investor interest in Virent was driven in large part by the Company’s continued development of its innovative BioForming process beyond its traditional hydrogen and fuel gas applications and toward the production of bio-based gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels. Virent Energy Systems - September 6, 2007.

    The U.S. National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) announces that 31 models of motor vehicles will be offered in the U.S. with an E85 capable engine in 2008. Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Nissan and Mercedes Benz will all offer flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) in the coming year. The NEVC expects 750,000 such FFVs will be produced in 2008. National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition - September 5, 2007.

    GreenHunter BioFuels, Inc., has begun commercial operations with the start-up of a 1,500 barrel per day methanol distillation system. Methanol is an alcohol used to transesterify vegetable oils into biodiesel. The methanol production facility is a key element of GreenHunter's 105 million gallon per year biodiesel refinery, the largest in the U.S., slated for initial operations during the first quarter of 2008. PRNewswire - September 5, 2007.

    GreenHunter BioFuels, Inc., has begun commercial operations with the start-up of a 1,500 barrel per day methanol distillation system. Methanol is an alcohol used to transesterify vegetable oils into biodiesel. The methanol production facility is a key element of GreenHunter's 105 million gallon per year biodiesel refinery, the largest in the U.S., slated for initial operations during the first quarter of 2008. PRNewswire - September 5, 2007.

    Spanish renewables group Abengoa released its results for the first half of 2007 financial year in which its consolidated sales were €1,393.6 million, which is a 27.9 percent increase on the previous year. Earnings after tax were €54.9 million, an 18.6 percent increase on the previous year's figure of 46.3 million euro. Abengoa is active in the bioenergy, solar and environmental services sector. Abengoa - September 4, 2007.

    Canadian hydro power developer Run of River Power Inc. has reached an agreement to buy privately owned Western Biomass Power Corp. in a $2.2 million share swap deal that could help finance development of new green sources of electricity in British Columbia. The Canadian Press - September 4, 2007.

    As of Sept. 1, a biodiesel blending mandate has come into force in the Czech Republic, requiring diesel suppliers to mix 2 per cent biodiesel into the fuel. The same rule will be obligatory for gasoline starting next year. In 2009 the biofuel ratio will grow to 3.5 percent in gasoline and 4.5 percent in diesel oil. CBW - September 3, 2007.

    Budapest's first biofuel station opens on Monday near the Pesterzsébet (District XX) Tesco hypermarket. This is the third station selling the E85 fuel containing bioethanol in Hungary, as two other stations are encouraging eco-friendly driving in Bábolna and Győr. Caboodle - September 3, 2007.

    Canadian forest products company Tembec announced that it has completed the acquisition of the assets of Chapleau Cogeneration Limited located in Chapleau, Ontario. The transaction includes a biomass fired boiler and steam turbine with an installed capacity of 7.2 megawatts. Consideration for the assets consists of a series of future annual payments to 2022, with a present value of approximately $1 million. Tembec - September 1, 2007.

    Innovative internet and cable/satellite channel CurrentTV is producing a documentary on Brazil's biofuel revolution. Biopact collegues and friends Marcelo Coelho (EthanolBrasil Blog), Henrique Oliveira (Ethablog) and Marcelo Alioti (E-Machine) provided consulting on the technical, economic, environmental and social aspects of Brazil's energy transformation. ProCana - August 31, 2007.

    Oil major BP Plc and Associated British Foods Plc won competition clearance from the European Commission on to build a plant to make transport fuel from wheat in Hull, northeast England. U.S. chemical company DuPont is also involved. Reuters UK - August 31, 2007.

    The government of the Indian state of Orissa announced its policy for biofuel production which includes a slew of incentives as well as measures to promote the establishment of energy plantations. The state aims to bring 600,000 hectares of barren and fallow land under Jatropha and Karanj. At least 2 million hectares degraded land are available in the State. The new policy's other objectives are to provide a platform for investors and entrepreneurs, market linkages and quality control measures. Newindpress - August 29, 2007.

    Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras said today it expects to reach large scale cellulosic ethanol production in 2015, with the first plant entering operations as early as 2011. Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant biological material on the planet, making up the bulk of the structure of wood and plants. In a first phase, Petrobras intends to use bagasse as a feedstock. Reuters / MacauHub- August 29, 2007.

    Seattle based Propel Biofuels, is announcing a $4.75 million first round of capital from @Ventures and Nth Power. The money will be used to help Propel set up and manage biodiesel fueling stations. BusinessWire - August 29, 2007.

    BioEnergy International, a science and technology company committed to developing biorefineries to produce fuels and specialty chemicals from renewable resources, announced today the closing of a major US$61.6 million investment that will provide funding for the Company’s three strategic initiatives: generating secure cash flow from its conventional ethanol platform, product diversification through the introduction of novel biocatalysts for the manufacture of green chemicals and biopolymers and the integration of its cellulose technology. BusinessWire - August 28, 2007.

    German company Verbio Vereinigte BioEnergie, the biggest biofuels producer in Europe, says it is considering plans to invest up to €100/US$136.5 million in a biofuel production facility in Bulgaria. The company wants the new facility to be located close to a port and Bulgaria's city of Varna on the Black Sea is one of the options under consideration. If Verbio goes through with the plan, it would produce both biodiesel and bioethanol, making Bulgaria a major source of biofuels in southeastern Europe. Verbi currently produces around 700,000 tonnes of biofuels per year. Sofia News Agency - August 27, 2007.

    Czech brown-coal-fired power plant Elektrárna Tisová (ETI), a unit of the energy producer ČEZ, could co-fire up to 40,000 tons of biomass this year, the biggest amount in the company’s history, said Martin Sobotka, ČEZ spokesman for West Bohemia. ETI burned more than 19,000 tons of biomass in the first half of 2007. The company’s plan reckoned with biomass consumption of up to 35,000 tons a year. Czech Business Weekly - August 27, 2007.

    PetroSun, Incorporated announced recently that it has formed PetroSun BioFuels Mexico to establish algae-to-biofuel operations in the State of Sonora, Mexico. PetroSun BioFuels Mexico will enter into joint venture agreements to develop algae cultivation farms and extraction plants in Sonora and southern Arizona that will produce algal oil, algae biomass products and excess electricity for the Mexican and U.S. markets. MarketWire - August 27, 2007.

    China's Yunnan Province hopes to reach an annual output of 2 million tons (approx. 417 million gallons) of fuel ethanol by 2010, according to the province's fuel ethanol industry development plan released recently by the Yunnan Economic and Trade Commission, state media report. Interfax China - August 23, 2007.

    Seven companies have teamed up to create Kazakhstan's first Biofuel Association. Its aim is to integrate interested parties for creating favorable conditions to have the country’s biofuel industry developed. An initiator and coordinator of the Association is the National Holding KazAgro, the Agriculture Ministry’s press service informs. KazInform - August 23, 2007.

    Canadian forest products company Tembec today announced that it has completed the acquisition of the assets of Chapleau Cogeneration Limited located in Chapleau, Ontario. The transaction closed on August 15 and includes a biomass fired boiler and steam turbine with an installed capacity of 7.2 megawatts. Consideration for the assets consists of a series of future annual payments to 2022, with a present value of approximately $1 million. Newswire Canada - August 22, 2007.

    Taiwan's representative to Brazil, Chou Shu-yeh, is urging Taiwan's government and private enterprises to invest in Brazil's biomass energy sector. Chou was speaking at a workshop on global investment and trade opportunities in Taipei. RTi - August 22, 2007.

    An algae-to-biofuels startup by the name of Inventure Chemical has raised about $1.5 million to continue its development of a chemical process that turns algae into biodiesel and ethanol. One of the biggest backers of the company is Imperium Renewables, a biodiesel producer. Seattle Post Intelligencer - August 22, 2007.

    The government of India's Karnataka state has approved the blending of six million litres of ethanol with diesel for use as fuel in State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) vehicles. Automotive World - August 21, 2007.

    VeraSun Energy Corporation, one of America's largest ethanol producers, announced that it closed on its acquisition with ASAlliances Biofuels, LLC for three ethanol plants with a combined annual production capacity of approximately 330 million gallons (1.25 billion liters) per year. VeraSun - August 21, 2007.

    Fujitsu develops a biodegradable laptop chassis from corn-starch bioplastic. The material reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 15% compared to a chassis made from petroleum-based plastics. CNET Asia - August 20, 2007.

    India's Rana Sugars Ltd has decided to set up a new plant for producing ethanol in Uttar Pradesh with an estimated investment of €9 to 10.9 (US$12.2 to 14.7). The facility will have a capacity of 180,000 liters per year and will generate, besides ethanol, 26MW of carbon-neutral power from bagasse. Economic Times India - August 20, 2007.

    Prominent pro-democracy activists staged a rare protest in Myanmar's biggest city Sunday, marching against a massive recent fuel price hike. "We are staging this performance to reflect the hardship our people are facing due to the government's fuel price hike," said Min Ko Naing, a leader of the 88 Generation Students' Group. Myanmar's ruling military junta imposed a surprise 100 percent hike on fuel at state-owned gas stations on Wednesday. The move was followed by increases in bus fares and commodity prices. The Star - August 19, 2007.

    Canada's Cavendish Farms, one of the country's largest food processing companies is to build a biogas plant to recycle spent cooking oils, starch and sludge from its waste-water plant to fuel its potato processing operation. Use of the carbon-neutral biofuel will limit the amount of bunker C fuel oil currently in use by the company. The plant, expected to be ready for operation by next fall, has received a $14-million loan from the Province of Prince Edward Island. CBC - August 18, 2007.

Creative Commons License

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Report: 2006 record year for investments in renewables, annual growth projected to be 17% through 2013

A new report [*.pdf] by New Energy Finance shows 2006 was another record year for Venture Capital (VC) and Private Equity (PE) investment in the clean energy sector, with $18.1bn invested in companies and projects. This represented a 67% increase on 2005 ($10.8bn), and beat New Energy Finance’s original forecast.

However, this rapid growth in VC & PE investment only tells half the story: a significant amount of money ($2bn) resides in funds and has yet to be invested. During 2006 clean energy VCs invested only 73% of the total money available to them – a symptom of a competitive market where demand for deals is outweighing supply, thereby driving up company valuations.

During 2006 more investors sought out opportunities in clean energy, in response to high oil prices and the need for action climate on change. New Energy Finance has identified 1,859 VC/PE investors who have either made investments or stated their intention to do so. The analysts recorded 193 funds that invest in clean energy, and analysed 521 VC and PE deals in 2006, totalling $8.6bn for companies and $9.5bn for projects. This trend has continued, with a total of $10.6bn invested in the first half of 2007 (see Figure 1, click to enlarge).

Out of the total VC & PE investment of $18.1bn, 61% ($11.1bn) represented new money into the clean energy sector, as investors provided capital for technology development, company expansion and project construction. The remaining money, $7.0bn, was used to finance company buy-outs, and re-finance and acquire projects. All regions experienced significant growth in 2006 (see Figure 2, click to enlarge).

$7.1bn was invested in the Americas (AMER) - an increase of 83% on 2005 – as mainstream investors woke up to the opportunities in clean energy, especially in biofuels. Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) saw $9.2bn invested (67% increase), mainly driven by PE investment in companies and projects. Companies and projects in the Asia & Oceania region (ASOC) received $1.8bn in investment (26% increase), driven by pre-IPO PE investments in Chinese solar companies and clean energy activity in other developing countries such as India.

At a sector level wind ($8.4bn), biofuels ($4.7bn) and solar ($2.3bn) attracted the majority (86%) of VC/PE investment (see Figure 3, click to enlarge). Mature technologies, such as on-shore wind and first generation/cornbased ethanol, attracted PE money for expansion and roll-out of production capacity. Solar raised a significant amount of money via the public markets, but also attracted the highest level of classic VC investment ($428m) typically into thin film and non crystalline silicon technologies. VC investment in in second generation biofuels technologies, including cellulosic ethanol, also increased ($235m):
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

Encouragingly the average VC deal size has increased in the past year at almost each development stage (see Figure 4, click to enlarge). Average series C/third round investment rose 29% to $14.8m and average series D/fourth round deal size almost doubled to $20.7m indicating investor confidence in companies with technologies closer to commercialisation.

The annual report of VC/PE activity in clean energy technologies, companies and projects examines the investment trends in 2006 and the first half of 2007. The analysts divide deals into the following investment types:
  • Venture Capital describes the funding of development and commercialisation of new technologies, products and services. Of the $8.6bn total investment into companies 2006, classic venture capital for technology and expansion accounted for $1.6bn, with the US based companies receiving $1.3bn (81%).
  • Private Equity for Companies is investment in later-stage companies which have sufficiently mature businesses to allow some leverage, or which require capital to fund business assets. $3.2bn of private equity investment into companies was recorded, as European and Asian companies geared up for further fund raising via the public markets. A further $1.8bn changed hands through buy-outs and corporate spin-offs.
  • Private Equity for Projects defines investment in individual renewable energy or biofuels projects, or portfolios of such projects. A massive $9.5bn worth of renewable energy projects were financed in 2006 by PE investors (utilising significant leverage), with wind the dominant sector ($6.7bn), then biofuels and biomass ($1.7bn).
  • Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE) is a transaction in which a PE-type investor takes a significant stake in a company quoted on the public markets. New investors drove PE investment in over-the-counter (OTC) markets and PIPEs to a total of $1.9bn, more three times the investment in 2005.
The outlook is positive, as an increasing number of investors seek out VC/PE investment opportunities across a range of sectors and countries. A healthy pipeline of 866 development stage pure-play clean energy companies is complemented by proven exit routes.

The leading investors are establishing successful track records and experiencing traditional venture style returns. All stages of VC and PE have seen a continued growth in investment activity in the first half of 2007, with VC investments already putting on a strong show (see Figure 5, click to enlarge). Based on industry-standard levels of leverage, we estimate that the amount of equity deployed during 2006 was $9.4bn. This represents 9% of the total transaction volume in clean energy in 2006 ($100.4bn).

New Energy Finance has updated its forecast of VC/PE investment from 2007. It now estimates that the total VC and PE invested in clean energy will grow at an annual compound rate of approximately 17% through to 2013 (see Figure 6, click to enlarge). During this period, the analysts expect over $262bn worth of VC and PE funded deals to be completed, absorbing over $146bn of equity. This will be leveraged in terms of later stage deals, buyouts and project financings, although the recent squeeze in the credit markets has yet to have an impact, and may slow down growth in some areas.

New Energy Finance: Cleaning Up 2007. Growth in Private Equity & Venture Capital Investment in Clean Energy Technologies, Companies & Projects [*.pdf] - August 2007.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home