Allianz mulls over move into offshore wind investment

GERMANY: Allianz is planning to invest in offshore wind projects for the first time, and has already "seriously considered" putting money into a number of developments.

Allianz invested EUR 400 million in wind projects in 2013
Allianz invested EUR 400 million in wind projects in 2013

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Head of renewable energies for Allianz Capital Partners David Jones told Windpower Monthly that the insurer is considering projects in the UK and Germany.

Allianz has already done a lot of preparation work in terms of calculating risk capital charge of a number of projects, but is yet to conclude any deals, Jones said.

The barrier, it seems, is the fact that the company is yet to find a project that offers a significant enough capital return premium compared with onshore projects.

Jones said that his team would not consider investing in offshore wind unless this premium can be demonstrated due to the higher risk and cost of operations associated with offshore projects.

While Allianz currently holds 100% in all its 50 onshore projects, this is likely to be different with offshore wind.

"We would not be willing to shoulder all of the risk ourselves and would be likely to seek a partnership with an established player in the offshore market," said Jones.

Allianz is one of the biggest investors in onshore wind in Europe, with projects across Germany, France, Italy and, most recently, Sweden.

Last year the insurer pumped EUR 400 million into wind projects and now has a portfolio of more than 1GW.

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