Renewables a 'safe bet' for M&A

WORLWIDE: In its latest power trends report, audit firm Ernst & Young said investors were looking towards the "safe bet" of renewable power.

Meerwind Süd/Ost was acquired by China Three Gorges in June
Meerwind Süd/Ost was acquired by China Three Gorges in June

In the second quarter of 2016, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of renewable assets were worth $13 billion, the report said.

A total of 67 of 128 deals in power and utilities transactions involved renewable and regulated assets.

"Ongoing sector and global volatility continues to be at the forefront of investors' minds. In the second quarter we saw this play out in the form of buyers seeking safe bets in renewables, where demand continues to rise in developed and emerging markets, and regulated transmission and distribution assets that offer stable, long-term returns," said Ernst & Young power and utilities transactions leader Matt Rennie

"The trend toward investment in disruptive technologies is also gathering pace. Both utilities and non-traditional investors are shifting their focus to areas like distributed energy and battery storage. And, as consumer demand increases, more M&A will follow," he added.

The Americas region contributed the most ($24.7 billion) to the M&A total, according to the report, due to "consolidation and convergence".

Rewewables deals were most prevalent in Europe, where total deals increased by 44% year on year to $8.2 billion. This total included the China Three Gorges 80% acquisition of WindMW for $1.6 billion in June.

Investments in renewables in the Middle East and Africa region are also on the increase, Ernst & Young said.

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