Downing LLP exits five hydro projects after $26mn investment
The investment manager, Downing LLP, has announced the sale of Osprey Green Power Limited, the fifth exit by its funds from seven hydro investments based in Scotland and managed by Gilkes Energy Limited.
Having worked in collaboration with Gilkes Energy since 2013, Downing has invested approximately £20mn ($26mn) of EIS equity across its seven projects. The projects are now fully operational and have been built on time and within budget.
With Downing having exited five of the projects to GHI Holdings Limited, a company renowned for owning and operating a range of operational hydro projects, Gilkes Energy is set to continue to operate the hydro projects.
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David Freeder, Investment Director at Downing, said: “We’re extremely pleased to have completed the latest in a series of successful exits from a number of our investments alongside Gilkes Energy. The energy sector is a key focus for Downing and we’re delighted to have achieved the target returns for our investors.”
“The ultimate aim of our funding is to provide management teams with capital to develop projects that deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns to our investors and it’s great to see this coming to fruition from our work with Gilkes Energy.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.