Green Bonds Mid-Year Summary 2017

by the Climate Bonds Team Climate Bonds looks at the last six months numbers, the trends and our tips for the rest of 2017 Green Bonds Mid-Year Summary 2017  Headline figures for the Half Year (H1)  2017 issuance to H1: USD55.8bn Records broken: Quarter 2 (Q2) is the largest quarter of issuance on record at almost USD30bn 82 green bond deals issued in the quarter from 74 issuers Over 50% of issuers were first time issuers Green Bond transactions accounted for 3% of global bond market transactions in Q2 2017 Top 5 largest issuers of H1: Republic of France (USD7.6bn), EIB (USD2.8bn), ...
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Green swan, Black swan: No matter as long as it reduces stranded spending

by Prashant Vaze, The Climate bonds Initiative In January, authors from several institutions under the aegis of BiS, published The Green Swan Central banking and financial stability in the age of climate change setting out their take on the epistemological foundations for, and obstacles against, central banks acting to mitigate climate change risk. The book’s early chapters provide a cogent and up-to-date analysis of climate change’s profound and irreversible impacts on ecosystems and society. The authors are critical of overly simplistic solutions such as relying on just carbon taxes. They also recognize the all-too-evident deficits in global policy to respond to the threat. In short, they accept the need for central banks to act. The Two Arguments  The paper makes two powerful arguments setting out the challenges central banks face using their usual mode of working. Firstly, climate change’s impact on financial systems is an unknowable unknown – a...

Brookfield’s Yieldco Buying Spree

by Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA Last week, a Bloomberg reported on a rumor that Brookfield Asset Management (BAM) was in talks to buy Abengoa's (ABGOY) stake in its former YieldCo Atlantica Yield (ABY).  Atlantica had been looking for a new sponsor for well over a year since parent Abengoa filed for bankruptcy. Purchasing Yieldcos (companies that own clean energy infrastructure and use the cash flows to pay large dividends to shareholders) is not new to Brookfield.  Not only has BAM long sponsored Brookfield Renewable Partners, LP (BEP), a limited partnership that has essentially been a Yieldco since before the term was...

Convertible Solar Bonds: Trina, SunPower Stoke Fire; Ascent Descends

by Sean Kidney Trina’s $150m 3.5% 5yr convertible solar bond In June Chinese solar manufacturer Trina announced the private placement of $150m of 5 year, 3.5% convertible bonds to “institutional investors” (no details provided). Trina weren’t clear how they would use the proceeds, but they are planning to build 400-500MW of solar plants over the rest of this year. Book-runners were Deutsche Bank, Barclays, J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs (Asia), with co-manager HSBC. SunPower issues $400m 7yr 0.875% (!) convertible solar bond That same month SunPower announced a private placement of $400 million, 7 year, 0.875% senior convertible bonds. What...

YieldCo Bubble: The Aftermath

Readers may be interested in listening to this podcast. Where Stephen Lacey and Shayle Kann of GreenTechMedia speak with me about the current YieldCo landscape. Follow this link to The Interchange Podcast. -Tom Konrad, Editor

Power REIT’s Preferred Stock Offering: A Hedge That Pays 7.75%

Power REIT's preferred stock offerning (NYSE:PW-PRA) is an excellent hedge for the legal risks borne by the holders of its common stock (NYSE:PW.)

Second Largest Quarter For Green Bonds Ever

Third quarter reflects strong growth and new market entrants Overview The green bond market has kept its strong pace in Quarter 3 2017, reaching a total of USD27.7bn from July to September. On September 28th, the total amount of green bonds issued in 2017 ytd (USD83.2bn) overtook last year’s total issuance of USD81.6bn. We covered the big moment in our Blog Post here. Lots of new issuers The top sources of issuance were: Mexico - USD4bn China - USD3.9bn France - USD3.3bn U.S. - USD2.8bn India - USD1.9bn Mexico was a surprising addition to the number one spot, after issuing no green bonds in Q1 or Q2 this year. Big...
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Are Aspiration’s Deposits Really Fossil Fuel Free?

Fossil Fuel Free Claims If you are reading this, you've probably also seen advertisements for Aspriation's “Fee-free and fossil fuel free” banking services. Like the advertisements the company's product page encourages visitors to “Earn high interest on what you save with an account that is fee-free and fossil fuel free.“ As a professional green money manager, I know that “fossil fuel free” is in the eye of the beholder. For many mutual funds, “fossil fuel free” simply means avoiding the 200 largest fossil fuel companies, but investing in the 201st largest fossil fuel company, even if its primary business is mining...

Yieldcos: Boom, Bust, and (Now) Beyond

The Yieldco model is not broken. But investor expectations have changed. by Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA The Yieldco bubble popped almost exactly a year ago after a virtuous cycle turned vicious. Last May, I explained how these public companies (which own solar farms, wind farms and similar assets) could grow their dividends at double-digit rates despite no internal growth or retained earnings. This “weird trick” can work so long as the Yieldco’s stock price is rising, allowing it to sell stock at higher valuations and increase the amount of money invested per share. As long...

Four Clean Green Dividends

by Debra Fiakas CFA The recent pullback in stock prices in the U.S. equity market has opened the door to some interesting dividend yields.  Investors with a taste for environmentally-friendly businesses have some particularly interesting alternatives that can pump up the purse as well as protect Mother Earth. AES Corporation (AES:  NYSE) is a world-class power generator from mixed portfolio of conventional and renewable power sources.  About 28% of its 29,352 megawatts of generation capacity is from renewable fuel sources, including hydro, biomass, solar and wind, and another 33% from plants using natural gas.  The balance of...

No Longer Just Growth: Investing in Renewable Energies for Yield

by Robert Muir Given the determined investor quest for yield as the Federal Reserve maintains the benchmark Federal Funds rate at zero, and the resurgence of attention being paid to alternative energy generation, mainly solar, and to a lesser extent wind and hydro, it’s no wonder Yield Co’s have gained so much investor interest lately. In the near to mid-term, the enthusiasm may be justified. Supported by Power Purchase Agreements, energy infrastructure financing and leasing contracts, and electricity transmission and distribution concessions, all with credit-worthy counter-parties, Yield Co’s are designed specifically to pay out a large portion of...

The Sustainable Infrastructure Income Trust

Tom Konrad CFA Jeffrey Eckel Jeffrey Eckel has an investor relations problem. No, there has not been any scandal involving fudging the books or sweatshop labor.  Rather, most investors simply don’t seem to “get” his company. His company recently went public as a REIT, or Real Estate Investment Trust, and the traditional REIT investor likes the familiar.  They invest for income, and for many, a track record of past income and dividends is a must.  While Eckel’s company manages $1.8 billion of securitized energy efficient and sustainable infrastructure...

Fifteen Clean Energy Yield Cos: Company Structure

Tom Konrad CFA In the first article of this survey of yield cos, I looked at the possible reasons for the seemingly endless enthusiasm for US-listed clean energy yield cos.  Here, I'll take a look at how these yield cos are constructed, and why investors should prefer one structure over another. Who's Your Daddy? Most yield cos have been created by clean energy project developers in order to create a ready, low-cost buyer for those projects.  With the recent string of very successful IPOs, the capital available for such projects may prove...

Solar Investing Grows Up

Tom Konrad CFA Disclosure: Long HASI, BEP. Short PEGI calls, NYLD calls. When I was asked in an interview last month what I thought 2014 would hold for green tech finance, I said 2014 would be the year that “renewable energy finance comes of age.” What I mean is that a new type of renewable energy investment is proliferating.  Solar, other renewables, and energy efficiency investments are no longer limited to risky growth plays like Tesla Motors (NASD:TSLA.)   There are now a number of yield focused investments available to small investors.  As of last year,...

Four Green Dividend Stocks That IPO’d In 2013

Tom Konrad CFA Disclosure: Long BEP, HASI. Canada’s stock exchanges have long had the lead as the place for energy infrastructure companies to list.  This includes green energy, as well as the fossil fueled sort.   Because Canada’s reporting rules are somewhat less stringent, and its markets less liquid than those in the US, the large number of offerings trade at lower valuations and higher yields than do their (few) US-listed equivalents. In fact, it was the promise of a higher valuation which led Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (NYSE:BEP, TSX:BEP-UN) to obtain its US listing on June...

Green Bonds From Terraform Global, SolarCity, and Hannon Armstrong

by the Climate Bonds Team Yieldco TerraForm Global (GLBL) issues a whopping $810m green bond (7 years, 9.75%, B2/B+) TerraForm Global Operating has issued an $810m green bond, with 7-year tenor, 9.75% coupon and ratings of B2 and B+ from Moodys and S&P respectively. TerraForm Global is a recent yieldco spin off (IPO last month) of SunEdison (SUNE) group (have a look here if the yieldco concept is new to you). Terraform Global owns and operates renewable energy assets - solar, wind and hydro - in emerging markets, in the following locations: Solar: China, India, South Africa,...
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