Insights

Webinar: Sustainable Energy & Renewables

Kicking off Part II of the Impact Investment Funds Webinar Series, in partnership with Octopus and Paul Hastings, ClearlySo Founder & CEO, Rod Schwartz unpicks sustainable energy and renewable investment themes with special guests from ETF Partners, Octopus Renewables and Impax Asset Management.

September 28, 2020

On 17 June 2020, the UK ended a run of 67 days without use of any power from coal — the first time this had happened since the industrial revolution. The shift to less carbon intensive and more sustainable forms of energy has been dramatic. Across the EU it is now roughly represents 1/5 of all power consumed and, in the UK, it is nearer to 1/3. The shift has been dramatic and will become more so as renewable forms of energy are frequently cheaper than traditional sources, before even considering the adverse climate impacts on planet earth from the use of carbon-based sources.

The shift away from carbon not only represents the largest volume in the field of impact investment but is one of the great mainstream investment opportunities of the century. These investment opportunities go well beyond energy production; extending into fuel storage, smart energy management, grid optimisation, retail energy sales, energy efficiency and a host of other categories too numerous to mention. This is before we consider the impact of de-carbonisation on mobility and the enormous investment needs required for this global transition.

Unsurprisingly, a host of top tier investment firms have established strong capabilities in this area and are raising billions in capital to invest in the most attractive opportunities. Prospective limited partners and other asset owners are actively seeking the best funds focused on what they hope will be the best opportunities. We will assemble a top-tier panel of experts to explore these issues and identify some of the most attractive investments and investment themes.

Alex Brierley co-heads Octopus Renewables and leads a the private institutional funds strategy. He joined Octopus as an investment director in 2015 to help develop Octopus’ energy strategy, originate and structure investments in new areas and further Octopus’ relationships with investors. In doing so Alex and the team have championed the UK energy market throughout the world. Prior to joining Octopus, he was a director at EY LLP where he led the EY Solar Photovoltaic Corporate Finance team. Alex holds a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from Bristol University and is a Chartered Accountant.

Daniel joined Impax in 2009 and is heading the Impax Private Equity Infrastructure business. Daniel is a member of the investment committee. He is both involved in investments and is Head of Asset Management. Daniel has significant business and senior transactional experience with blue chip companies within the energy and utility sectors. Prior to joining Impax he was responsible for Babcock & Brown’s Northern European infrastructure activities where he focused on regulated utilities, gas storage and broader power generation. Prior to this, Daniel was Director of Corporate Finance for the European Energy and Utilities team at Deutsche Bank with a strong focus on M&A activity in Europe and a member of Citigroup’s Utilities team.

Lucy is an Investment Manager at ETF Partners, having joined the firm in 2016. ETF is a London based VC investing in Europe’s leading technology ventures showing sustainability through innovation. Lucy splits her time between deal sourcing, deal execution and in supporting the current portfolio companies in their growth. Lucy sits as an observer on the boards of Worldsensing (operational intelligence and monitoring solutions, Spain), iGeolise (travel time analytics, UK), Corporater (flexible business management software, Norway), Deepsea (AI for Shipping, Greece), Cloud&Heat (sustainable data centers, Germany) and Shippeo (Supply chain visibility, France).

Rod Schwartz is CEO and Founder of ClearlySo, with a background in equity research, management, investment banking and venture capital. Joining Wall Street in 1980, he rose to become the number one ranked financial services analyst at PaineWebber and then held senior management posts at Lehman Brothers and Paribas, before leaving the sector in 1997 to found the fintech-oriented VC firm Catalyst. A pioneer in the impact investment marketplace, he transformed Catalyst into a social business consultancy, which in 2008 morphed into ClearlySo, a business designed, “to help create 100 Justgivings”. This seemed an exciting new style of company, which achieves significant impact as well as great financial returns.