On 11 January 2018, Sustainable Nation Ireland made a submission to the “Electricity Support Schemes: Transitioning to I-SEM Arrangements” Consultation of the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment.
The message was a simple one – namely to highlight the importance of policy certainty to long term investors in low carbon infrastructure. The context for our position in this regard is as follows:
- International Investors hold c.51% of total operating Irish REFIT wind assets. The balance of these assets are owned by utilities, semi-states and independent developer/owners.
- The International Investors include general infrastructure and specific renewable energy investors from across the globe such as Brookfield, BlackRock, Cubico, CGN, GE FS, Greencoat, Invis/Sojitz, I-Squared and NTR, who have the opportunity to invest their capital in attractive renewable infrastructure investments anywhere in the world (subject to their mandates).
- As we work to position and promote Ireland as a Global Green Finance Centre, Sustainable Nation Ireland also advocates for policy and regulatory certainty in order to ensure that Ireland will meet our decarbonisation targets. We recognise the importance of International Investors in stimulating the growth of wind energy in Ireland to date and their importance going forward for low carbon infrastructure as we move towards 2030 and beyond.
- In this context, we have consulted with members of our network to determine the common factors amongst these Investors that should be highlighted in response to the proposed approach to transitioning REFIT into I-SEM and our submission outlines those key points.
In conclusion, to date Irish policy makers have successfully created an environment for renewable energy investment that is attractive to International Investors. In addition to stimulating the growth of wind energy in Ireland, this policy has also facilitated the development of a vibrant, world class cluster of green finance asset management professionals and the eco-system that serves them. Now, more than ever, it is critically important for policy-makers to interface with the financial community to ensure we continue to have effective conditions to facilitate investment in renewable energy infrastructure in Ireland.