Investing for impact and innovation: CEFC Annual Report
Earlier this month the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) released its annual report, claiming its mission is “to accelerate Australia’s transformation towards a more competitive economy in a carbon constrained world, by acting as a catalyst to increase investment in emissions reduction”.
The CEFC Annual Report for 2017-18 has been tabled in the Australian Senate, fulfilling an important part of the CEFC’s transparency, information sharing and regulatory obligations.
Highlights from the 2017-18 report:
The CEFC set new records in the number and value of investment commitments in 2017-18, delivering a heightened focus on some of the nation’s toughest emissions challenges through our support for innovative projects, technologies and investment partnerships across Australia.
- In five years of investing, CEFC commitments have contributed to clean energy projects Australia-wide, with a total project value of around $19 billion. It has directly invested in more than 110 individual transactions and financed more than 5500 smaller-scale clean energy projects through our partners.
- In the 12 months to 30 June 2018, the CEFC directly committed to 39 transactions, up from 36 direct investments in 2016-17. Total new CEFC commitments in 2017-18 were $2.3 billion, up from $2.1 billion in the previous year.
- New commitments in 2017-18 included $1.1 billion in renewable energy, $944 million in energy efficiency, $100 million in transport and $127 million in waste-related projects, demonstrating the diversity of our approach to finance and investment.
- Taking into account our full portfolio of investment commitments since 2013, lifetime cuts to greenhouse gas emissions of more than 190 million tonnes of CO2-e are forecast (once funds are deployed and projects are fully operational).
In his Chair’s Report, chair Steven Skala AO says, “The CEFC has a clear charter to be a catalyst for investment in and financing of clean energy to achieve the long-term goal of decarbonising the Australian economy. We are a global leader amongst institutions of our type. Our methodology is to seek to crowd in private sector investment and engage capital markets to operate effectively in the private energy sector.
“A record $2.3 billion in new investment commitments were made during the year. These investments include marquee projects and highlight that decarbonisation can be achieved profitably and effectively right across the clean energy sector – in renewable energy, energy efficiency, transport and waste-related projects. The types of underlying assets that attract CEFC investment commitments are broad and touch all aspects of our national economy.
“This year has seen industry seizing the challenges and opportunities offered by decarbonisation and accelerating its consideration of emerging duties associated with carbon disclosure. The financial markets have also moved in this regard. The question now is not one of direction, but of pace. This means the CEFC will continue to have a significant number of opportunities available in its investment pipeline.”
CEO Ian Learmonth says in his report, “Much has changed since the CEFC began investing in 2013. From our early days largely focusing on renewable energy opportunities, we now see our capital working right across the economy, in an increasingly diverse range of projects.
“We see clean energy technologies embraced by home owners and small businesses; essential infrastructure projects and landmark property developments; innovative start-ups and institutional investors with an eye to a sustainable future.
“In 2017-18, our most active year of investment, we see a common thread in this activity: a focus on embracing technological innovation to cut energy costs and lower emissions.”
The 2017-18 Annual Report provides insights into the CEFC’s economy-wide investment focus, as well as emerging trends in the clean energy sector. Details on the performance of the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, Sustainable Cities Investment Program and Reef Funding Program are also included.
Learmonth adds, “In the year ahead, we will sharpen our focus on the emissions impact of our investments – from the direct carbon reductions of projects we finance, to the indirect demonstration benefits of the projects and companies we invest in, and our increasing focus on biocarbon. While the pace of the clean energy transition varies from year to year, our investment pipeline is robust. We look forward to expanding our work alongside market leading businesses, entrepreneurs and developers for the benefit of the Australian community.”
For the full report visit the CEFC website.
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