Last week, Green Investment Group (GIG), which is part of Australia-based venture capital fund Macquarie, launched Cero Generation with the intention of building an 8 GW solar project pipeline in Europe. Today, Macquarie has announced that the GIG's Renewable Energy Fund 2 has raised over €1.6 billion in investor commitments.
This is the second major GIG Renewable Energy Fund, the first was dedicated to an operational offshore wind fund and now manages investments in a 1.45 GW portfolio of six offshore wind farms around the United Kingdom.
The fundraising strategy, spearheaded by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), which already overseas investments of 12.3 GW of green generation globally, vastly exceeded its original fundraising target. The 25-year, closed-end fund will invest in a diverse portfolio of solar and wind projects in Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand.
In a statement, Macquarie said that 32 different, though largely Eurocentric, investors contributed to the fund from pension funds, local government pension schemes, insurers and sovereign wealth funds. But it added, commitments were also received from investors in the Asia-Pacific and North America regions.
Leigh Harrison, head of MIRA for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said that the energy transition to renewables was the key driver for investors.
“Our changing climate presents profound challenges to our environment, economy and way of life,” said Harrison, “It is vital we take action to accelerate the shift to clean energy, building on the opportunities presented by rapid technological change, falling technology costs and strong political and regulatory support.”
The acceleration of GIG in recent months is not a surprise to Ivan Varughese, head of Asia-Pacific for GIG, who said last year: “Renewable energy infrastructure has proven to be a resilient investment, even in the face of Covid-19, because demand for electricity will still grow and the need to decarbonize remains an immediate one.”
The fund has already made two investments: a 10% stake in the 576 MW Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm in the U.K., and a 50% stake in a 268 MW portfolio of residential rooftop solar projects in the U.S.
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