French bank BNP Paribas’ Clean Energy Fund has closed at €427m (£360m) – exceeding its target figure.
And the bank has stated that around half of investors are taking their first steps into renewables.
Joost Bergsma, chief executive of BNP Paribas Clean Energy Partners, was reported as saying: “Investors, particularly in the insurance sector, have been looking at [renewables] more closely over the last 12 months.”
“It’s good news for people working in environmental finance that there’s still appetite for the sector,” he added.
BNP Paribas had been hoping to raise between €300m and €400m into the fund.
Mr Bergsma said that investors were attracted by the fund’s high levels of cash yields and relatively low levels of risk. “Investors increasingly recognise that renewable energy infrastructure is an important part of the economy and therefore it should be part of their portfolios,” he said.
Investors include pension funds, insurance companies and local authorities, with two-thirds from the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Sweden, with the remainder from Asia.
The fund invests in construction and operational clean energy infrastructure assets in onshore wind, solar photovoltaic, biomass and small-scale hydro power, and has made six investments already, in Italian solar power and French and Irish wind farms. It typically invests €20m-40m in equity per investment, leveraged with €60m-80m in project financing.
The fund has a 10-year life and is expected to return 15% per annum to investors.