Institutional investors were warming up to renewable energy investments when the financial crisis scattered the pieces of what was already a challenging puzzle in the good times. Many still see solid opportunities, and capital has begun to flow again to certain projects. But most investors are in the process of re-evaluating these opportunities as the “new normal” for the financial markets coalesces, and as the relevant regulatory frameworks related to the sector develop and are better understood.
“Finding an acceptable place on the risk-adjusted return spectrum in the renewable energy sector is challenging,” says Walter Howes, managing partner at Verdigris Capital and former director for the Office of Acquisition Reform and Privatization for the Department of Energy. “It is a process. The good news is we are seeing more proposals and new commitments. A year ago these were very difficult conversations.”
As part of an industrywide push into infrastructure in