The report “Tackling control issues in renewables”, launched today (3rd February), finds that the unprecedented supply and demand crunch in European renewables has placed a high premium on asset control among investors and owners.
Without control, asset holders have seen their options for portfolio growth increasingly restricted, and, most importantly, their desire to evolve new business models thwarted.
Amid scarce assets and skyrocketing prices, business model innovation is seen as a necessity by many. Fund managers want to get involved earlier in the development cycle, taking on higher risks in the pursuit of greater returns. Developers seek to evolve into independent power producers (IPPs), holding onto assets to take advantage of stable yields. Utilities and large financial players are acquiring smaller developers and IPPs, leading to increasingly complex ownership structures.
In each of these cases, asset holders need both access to capital and the ability to retain control over strategic decision-making. However, as the number of capital providers that want a say in how projects are built and run grows, so too does the potential for misalignment and conflict that impacts progress towards commercial goals.
In the report, RealPort, a digital brokerage platform, outlines how unlocking ‘passive capital’ from a wide pool of small institutional and family office investors that have not previously invested in wind and solar at project level – and are willing to forego voting rights – will provide a solution to several emerging control challenges faced by asset owners.
“While renewable energy is a highly liquid market, asset holders bringing in capital at project level are too often forced to compromise on the control they have over their strategic decision making” said Ekow Yankah, RealPort’s Founder. “RealPort’s goal is to help asset owners take off the handbrake by accessing a new source of passive capital that they can recycle into new projects – without ceding control to their co investors. This enables them to be far more entrepreneurial and agile in pursuing opportunities for business model evolution – which in turn benefits those co-investors in the long run.”
RealPort’s platform, which aggregates passive capital from small institutions and family offices to address the mezzanine and secondary financing needs of asset holders, is quickly gaining momentum. Following the appointment of its independent Asset Selection Committee in December 2021, featuring industry experts Anthony Marsh (former Chair of the investment committee of the Green Investment Bank), Dr. Barbara Weber (best-selling author and partner at infrastructure manager B-Capital Partners) and Gurpreet Gujral (Managing Director at Atrato Group and former SVP Green Investment Group), RealPort has in its second phase opened up its platform to renewable investment managers, developers and utilities engaged in wind and solar projects in Europe.
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