UK-based Berkeley Energy has raised €50.7 million or $74.12 million for its Renewable Energy Asia Fund, which will back renewable energy projects in India and other developing countries in Asia.
The investors in the fund include CDC Group PLC, which has committed €10 million ($14.6 million), besides five other unnamed emerging market investors. REAF will use the capital it has raised to make equity investments of between €5m and €15m ($7.31 million-$21.9 million) in development stage renewable energy projects and technology, with a focus on wind, small hydro, biomass and solar power.
CDC Managing Director, Hywel Rees-Jones said: “In the week that world leaders meet in Copenhagen to focus on climate change reductions in both developed and developing countries, I am pleased that CDC is able to invest in a fund committed to private sector investments in green, sustainable energy supply.
“We’re backing this first-time fund because we know that the growing demand for electricity in India and other developing Asian economies and their historic underinvestment in renewable technology means that REAF has a real opportunity for commercial success. This is a real chance to boost the viability of renewable energy within the private sector in India.”
A 50% of India’s electricity is currently being generated by coal, a quarter by hydro power and around 10% by gas. As electricity demand outstrips supply there is huge potential for renewable energy, yet estimates suggest only 5% of India’s renewable resources are currently being exploited.
Berkeley Energy is a private equity fund manager specialising in renewable energy infrastructure investments in developing economies, particularly in Asia. Berkeley's website lists six investment professionals led by TC Kundi, who has earlier undertaken investment responsibility for more than 80 renewable energy assets at several companies including the UK's Hanson Plc and at Waste Recycling Group (WRG).
The team has experience in power generating assets in developed and emerging markets and share many years of development, construction, operations and investment expertise, a release said.