Greencoat UK Wind
- Sector: Financial Services
- Region: London
Winds of change
The UK has become one of the most enthusiastic adopters of wind energy in the world, providing plenty of opportunities for a company like Greencoat UK Wind, the first renewable infrastructure fund to list on London Stock Exchange Group Main Market.
The fund restricts its activities to investments in already operational wind farms. It currently has ownership stakes in 30 onshore and offshore sites, from Little Cheyne Court on the south-east coast of England to Slieve Divena in Northern Ireland and Kildrummy in the north of Scotland. The portfolio also includes a 20% share in the Clyde wind farm in Scotland, one of the largest onshore operations in the UK. In total, the 30 farms have a combined electricity-generating capacity of 741MW.
Although the opportunities for the sector are immense, the company still takes a careful approach to any potential investments. "The pool of UK wind assets we can acquire from is worth more than £60bn, presenting a host of opportunities to grow the company," says Stephen Lilley, Partner at Greencoat Capital, the investment manager to Greencoat UK Wind. "We look at a lot of new operating UK wind farms every year and adopt a highly-disciplined and selective approach to acquisitions. In the past, we’ve been through long periods when we didn’t find value and didn’t invest."
The future for the industry looks bright, given the rapid fall in the cost of wind energy projects, which makes them ever-more competitive. And, unlike some infrastructure sectors, UK wind is not impacted by asset scarcity.
"Clearly, onshore and offshore wind will play an important role in the UK’s future energy mix. Wind is the most mature renewable technology, and onshore is already cost-competitive with coal, gas and nuclear power," says Stephen. "Significant reductions in offshore wind costs should foster even more investment in this technology, where the UK is already a global leader."