On July 17 of this year, Australia became the first developed nation to repeal a carbon tax, putting a black eye on what had otherwise been a landmark year for renewable energy and showing that, as fast as the globe’s climate has been changing, a political climate can change even faster.
The move demonstrated one of the big reasons why many institutional investors have had cold feet when it comes to renewable energy investment. As fiduciaries, the biggest question they have about renewable energy assets is whether they can deliver strong risk-adjusted returns that are stable and long term — returns that, like most energy investments, can depend on the speed of advancing technologies and on energy policies that can be reworked and repealed each election cycle. These are factors that can make it tough to gauge the temperature when dipping a toe into the renewable energy pool and can be a major burden for long-term investors.
Still, institutional investors are warming