May 17, 2020

China's $536 Billion Environmental Protection Plan

energy digital
China
$536 billion
environmental protectio
Admin
2 min
ALT
China's government recently announced a set of goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent by 2015 in a blueprint expected to cost 3.4 t...

 

China's government recently announced a set of goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent by 2015 in a blueprint expected to cost 3.4 trillion yuan ($536 billion). The plan will include raising the ration of non-fossil fuels as part of total energy use, lowering the ratio of coal and adding 42 million tons of daily sewage treatment capacity in the next three years.

 

The government's announcement comes amid growing public frustration regarding the country's deteriorating quality of air, soil and water supplies from the past 30 years of rapid economic growth and pollution. Millions of Chinese have vented online over raising health fears and cancelled flights due to the thick smog blanketing Beijing in the last month. Additional angst has grown over the government's falsely published data, showing that air quality is only slightly polluted while the smog remains visible and the US embassy's data ranks it as extremely unhealthy.

 

While companies and local authorities will mostly be expected to fund the investments, the government will provide support “depending on different circumstances,” it said in a statement on its website.

 

As part of a plan to move the world's largest energy using and polluting country toward a more energy independent, cleaner state, President Hu Jinatao has pledged to bolster sustainable economic growth.

 

“Boosting environmental protection is an important step in China’s move to shift its growth model,” said Wang Jun, a researcher with the government-backed China Center for International Economic Exchanges in Beijing, to Bloomberg. “Excessive infrastructure investment over the past years has been a key factor fueling China’s high inflation and also added to financial risks.”

 

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According to the listed projects in achieving the mandatory emission reduction targets, China will build at least 1,184 new sewage treatment plants with a daily capacity of treating 45.7 million tonnes of sewage, and equip thermal power plants with a total generating capacity of 400 million kW. Annual performance evaluations will be conducted by the central government to ensure goals are met. Underachievers will be held accountable, according to the State Council.

 

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May 17, 2021

USS pension fund buys 50% stake in Bruc Energy

Pensionfunds
Investment
Renewables
spain
Dominic Ellis
3 min
USS will invest €225M in return for a 50% stake in Bruc Energy and 4,000MW pipeline of solar PV farms

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) private pension fund has taken a 50% stake in Bruc Energy, a Spain and Portugal renewables-focussed investment vehicle created by OPTrust and Spanish businessman, Juan Béjar. 

In the transaction arranged by USS Investment Management, the wholly-owned subsidiary and principal investment manager and advisor to the Scheme, USS has invested €225M (c.£200m) in return for the stake in a major pipeline of 4,000MW of PV farms. Bruc Energy has an ambitious growth plan that goes beyond this to invest in other green energies, such as wind power.

USS, which announced two weeks ago its aim to be net zero by 2050, already has a strong relationship with both OPTrust and Juan Bejar through Globalvia, a specialist infrastructure platform focussed on managing rail and highways assets around the world. 

Spain’s sun-drenched climate and national target to reach 100% renewable-based generation by 2050 make it an attractive place to invest in solar energy. In addition, the decades long lifespan of solar PV panels make them well-suited to USS in helping pay members’ pensions long into the future.

USS Investment Management CEO, Simon Pilcher, said: “We are delighted to be committing further finance to renewables and particularly to a major Spanish solar platform like this. We have already invested or committed around £1 billion to renewable energy and demand for this will only increase as more and more countries transition to lower carbon. We know that our members care very much about climate change and ESG and we are convinced that USS playing its part in supporting the transition to a low carbon economy makes good financial sense, too. This announcement closely follows on from our stated ambition to become Net Zero by 2050 so this transaction and others like it will be a key plank of our strategy going forward.”

Gavin Merchant, Co-Head of Direct Equity, said: “We have worked alongside OPTrust and Juan Béjar for many years and are delighted to be making this investment. The long-term nature of solar and the steady returns make renewables attractive to a pension scheme needing to pay pensions for years to come.” 

OPTrust’s Morgan McCormick, Managing Director, Private Markets Group UK said: “We are excited to have USS join Bruc Energy building on our strong existing relationship. Their investment will help Bruc become one of the leading renewable energy platforms in Spain. At OPTrust, we believe that investing in renewable energy helps transitions the world to a more sustainable economy. In doing so, we can continue to deliver on our mission of paying pensions today and preserving pensions for tomorrow.”

Béjar said the partnership is a key step to establishing Bruc as one of the more dynamic players in the renewables industry in Spain, because it ensures access to the funds to develop our current portfolio. "All three shareholders of Bruc Energy share a long-term vision, but also the ambition and the social responsibility to counter the effects of climate change in the short-term," he said.

Following the transaction, which remains subject to conditions, including regulatory approval, Bruc Energy will be owned 50% by USS and BROP, a vehicle owned by OPTrust and Béjar. The transaction was advised by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Greenhill and Nomura. Juan Béjar will be the president of Bruc Energy and Luis Venero the CEO.

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