Asset-backed financing of renewable energy
projects jumped to a record €30.5bn in the third quarter of 2011,
research has shown.

Much of the growth in asset-finance investment
was in offshore wind farms. Three large offshore wind farms in the
North Sea totalled more than 1 gigawatt in capacity and €4.6bn in
investment, according to the research company Bloomberg New Energy
Finance (BNEF).

The report underscores the growing importance
of the renewable energy market to asset finance companies amid
sluggish growth in other industry sectors.

There were also large financings for
photovoltaic (PV), solar thermal and biofuel projects in the United
States, a geothermal plant in Indonesia and onshore wind projects
in Brazil and China, the report said.

New investment in clean energy – including not
just asset finance, but also equity raisings on public markets and
from venture capital and private equity funds – was €33.2bn in the
third quarter, up 9% on the second quarter of this year and 16%
ahead of Q3 2010.

Sharp falls in the cost of clean energy
equipment over the past three years had attracted investors, said
Michael Liebreich, chief executive of BNEF.

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By GlobalData

“There is still not enough demand to soak up
significant over-supply, so prices and margins have remained under
pressure and manufacturers’ share prices are being crushed,” he
said. “The industry has swung between being a buyer’s market and a
seller’s market a few times in recent years: right now, you would
love to be a developer with access to funding, but not a

The biggest asset finance deals in the third
quarter were the €1.97bn financing of the Global Tech 1 offshore
wind farm, off the coast of Germany, and the €1.31bn financing of
the Djursland Anholt offshore wind project, off Denmark. The
largest solar financing was €1.16bn for the High Plains Ranch II
and III PV portfolio in the US.