Rockefeller fund invests in African renewables
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has provided US $10 million to Ireland’s Mainstream Renewable Power to help expand its renewable energy projects in Africa.
The fund, founded in 1940 using the profits of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Co., announced that it would withdraw all investment in fossil fuel companies two years ago.
The Rockefeller Brothers’ capital will go toward financing Lekela Power, a joint venture between Actis, a UK-based private equity firm, and Mainstream.
Lekela is planning to construct renewable energy projects in South Africa, Egypt, Senegal and Ghana. Other investors include the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corp (IFC), the IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund (ALAC) and the IFC Catalyst Fund.
“The teaming up of the world’s leading independent renewable power developer with a foundation started by members of the [Rockefeller] family that effectively founded the global oil industry, is a significant moment in the world’s transition to a new power system based on clean energy,” said Eddie O’Connor, CEO of Mainstream Renewable Power.
According to the President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Stephen Heintz, the fund is hoping to sell all of investments in fossil fuel companies by the end of 2018.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.