3 big talking points for Financing Wind Inside Investment next week

The focus of the event will be the biggest issues facing investors, and there is no shortage of huge questions for investors this year. Here are three:


December 3, 2020

Next week, A Word About Wind will host Financing Wind Inside Investment.

This digital members-only event is the first spin-off of our popular Financing Wind conference series, and will allow us to discuss the most pressing issues for wind investors globally as we enter 2021. We will be joined by experts from Europe, North America and Asia in what will be a truly global event.

Get in touch now to book your place

The focus of the event will be the biggest issues facing investors, and there is no shortage of huge questions for investors this year. Here are three:

How will wind fare in a post-Covid world?

Too big to ignore. Investors in all sectors have rightly focused a great deal of attention this year on the small matter of a global pandemic. But we have seen no let-up in the appetite of corporates or governments to act on the climate crisis that so dominated headlines in 2019. Wind appears well-placed to profit.

A few stars have aligned for wind investors this year.

The Covid-19 shock in the first half of 2020 showed countries could cope with higher penetrations of renewables on their grids. This ramped up the pressure on oil and gas firms to quit fossil fuels; led to ‘green recovery’ packages around the world; and has brought about political shifts that should boost wind, such as the end of President Trump and China’s 2060 net zero target.

But that doesn’t mean it’s party time. While political and macroeconomic shifts can set the rules of the game more favourably for wind investors, it’s up to wind companies to take advantage. We see plenty of challenges in the 2020s.

One of these is the sheer scale of investment that will be needed. Yes, there’s more support for wind, but will it be enough?

DNV GL said in its Energy Transition Outlook publication in September 2019 that the world needs an eightfold rise in wind and solar capacity by 2030 to hit the emissions targets in the Paris climate deal, while Frost & Sullivan forecast in August 2020 that $2.7trn would be invested in wind and solar globally in the 2020s. We will look at how wind investors can help to bridge those chasms.

How much influence will green super-majors exert?

Renewables reached a milestone in early October when NextEra briefly ousted oil giant ExxonMobil as the largest US energy company by market cap. It was a huge statement of intent for wind and solar firms and, while NextEra slipped back into second, it reinforced the idea that we now have ‘green super-majors’.

Alongside NextEra, those green super-majors would include Enel, which is set to mobilise €190bn investment between 2021 and 2030; Iberdrola, which plans to pour €75bn into green energy by 2025; and Ørsted, which has grown out of its historic focus for offshore wind in recent years.

These players could drive some key investment trends for wind in the 2020s.

One side effect is we would expect to see increased consolidation of smaller players with established development platforms, such as Iberdrola’s takeovers of Australian developer Infigen and US utility PNM Resources. This will ramp up as firms look to establish ever-larger global footprints in wind and solar.

They won’t have it all their own way, though.

Green powerhouses will have to go head-to-head with oil and gas behemoths such as BP, Eni, Shell and Total. All of these set out big renewable investment plans in 2020 but remain, for now, mainly focused on fossil fuels.

We expect our panellists to discuss how these firms’ strategies will evolve, and whether oil giants are serious about renewables or still mainly ‘greenwashing’.

How are fund management strategies changing?

At the event, we will also publish our first Green Fund Power List, where we will celebrate the 100 people in the ‘green fund’ community who we believe are making the biggest contribution to directing institutional money into wind and solar. Over the last year we have seen some huge raises.

BlackRock closed its $5.1bn GEPIF III in April, while Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners achieve a €4bn close in September of a €5.5bn vehicle that would be the world’s largest renewables fund. This is in addition to the smaller raises that show the high levels of institutional interest in wind developments.

We expect Financing Wind Inside Investment to give us the chance to discuss these investors’ plans for wind as we get ready to close off the first year of the 2020s. It promises to be a fascinating set of discussions.

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