Alternative Thinking 2011: A look at 10 of the top issues and trends in renewable energy
The renewable energy market is experiencing a renewed confidence resulting from robust merger and acquisition activity and an improving initial public offering (IPO) market. This positive activity has resulted largely from increased government stimulus. Notwithstanding these improvements, energy sector participants are still experiencing uncertainty surrounding access to debt and the ensuing onerous terms and conditions applied to those debt facilities which are provided.
Ferga Kane, Corporate Finance Director, Deloitte highlights, “as the need for renewable energy increases rapidly around the world, energy sector participants must continually seek new and innovative ways to source financing, particularly when the lending market remains difficult, in order to continue to grow and put projects into operation. In Ireland, access to financing continues to be one of the three largest obstacles to developing renewable projects – along with grid and planning issues.
Continued Government support and political will to make Ireland a “Green Economy” and to capitalise on the opportunities available in the renewable energy sector provides some comfort to Irish renewable energy sector participants, as the established and consistent regulatory framework assists in making this sector more attractive to lenders than other sectors.
The Irish Government has identified the link between energy policy and the creation of new jobs and development of specialist skills. A recent Deloitte report conducted on behalf of the Irish Wind Energy Association identifies the potential to support in excess of 10,000 jobs through direct and indirect involvement in the Irish wind sector alone. In addition, initiatives such as the “Green IFSC”, whilst still in its infancy, is currently projected to create up to 25,000 jobs in the areas of carbon trading; financial and support services to the growing international greentech, carbon and renewable energy industries and funds servicing activities being carried out in the green sphere.
In our global report “Alternative Thinking 2011” we look at ten of the top issues and trends emerging in the renewable energy sector. It is interesting to see what issues have been assessed as being of most importance, not only for us in Ireland, but for energy related organisations around the globe.”