The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has committed its largest ever equity investment to the Australian Renewables Income Fund (ARIF) in order to attract more institutional investors to the fast-growing sector.
The commitment of $100 million will go to the Infrastructure Capital Group-managed renewables fund.
CEFC’s renewables equity portfolio now stands at $355 million, with the new commitment accounting for 40 per cent increase.
ARIF will invest in both existing and new assets, focusing on large-scale wind and solar. Energy-from-waste, large-scale battery storage and pumped hydro will also be considered.
CEFC chief executive officer Ian Learmonth said that although “it’s been exciting to see Australia’s renewable energy sector achieve significant growth in recent years”, renewables still only account for less than 20 per cent of total electricity generation.
This highlighted the “very large investment opportunity in order to deliver a clean energy electricity grid,” he said.
“Our investment in the Australian Renewables Income Fund is about creating new opportunities for institutional investors to take a larger role in our clean energy transition.” `
According to ICG managing director Tom Laidlaw, the Australian asset manager has been investing in renewable energy assets since 2007.
“ARIF offers investors access to a high-quality portfolio of operating renewable energy assets and a platform for future growth in the sector. It is a portfolio that has been built over an extended period and is designed to provide investors with a diversified exposure across the sector,” Mr Laidlaw said.