November 4, 2014

Clean energy and sustainability: Deutsche Bank hosts 5th Annual Renewable Energy Client Forum

In October, Deutsche Bank hosted 140 clients in New York to discuss the latest trends and market developments in renewable energy, project finance and sustainability.

Susan Skerritt, Head of Global Transaction Banking, Americas, kicked off the event. “Deutsche Bank is not simply interested in clean energy and sustainability because of business opportunities. We believe in the benefits of acting sustainably and combating climate change,” said Skerritt in her welcome.

Good ESG is expected to drive higher returns

Sabine Miltner, Group Sustainability Officer, focused on sustainable finance and investment opportunities for Deutsche Bank and its clients. She pointed out that investors increasingly consider companies’ sustainability performance in terms of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) when making investment decisions. Good ESG is expected to drive higher returns over the medium term. Miltner also discussed the rapid rise in the corporate green bond market. Green bonds could play an important part in filling the "clean investment gap," as investments in clean energy must double to USD 500bn by 2020 in order to help contain climate change.

Renewable energy markets in Latin American countries

A panel then discussed renewable energy markets in Latin American countries, which each have distinct nuances. Overall, panelists agreed that Latin America benefits from ample renewable energy thanks to solar and wind sources. In fact, an Investor’s Business Daily study predicted that 100% of the region’s needs could be met by renewable energy. Despite a general lack of government incentives for lenders, the sector is still growing with CLOs, funds and alternative investors coming into the Latin American market. Energy reform in Mexico also is expected to drive significant deal activity starting in mid-2015.

New financing structures

Next, a panel talked about the shifting landscape in a post-production tax credit environment in North America. In the United States, activity has shifted from development of utility-scale wind power projects toward solar projects, with a focus on the rooftop or distributed generation model. New financing structures have also emerged, such as securitizations and yieldcos, providing new sources of debt and equity.

Specific to New York State, Alfred Griffin, President of New York Green Bank, discussed how his organization was established to address market gaps and barriers to deploying clean energy. New York Green Bank facilitates new asset classes and market liquidity, incubates new financing structures and encourages creativity in supporting feasible transactions in the state.

Identify the potential risks and opportunities

“Our commitment to the Renewable Energy Client Forum underscores our belief in the growing importance of this sector,” said Will Marder, Global Product Manager for Project Finance and organizer of the event. “It’s exciting to be at the forefront of helping our clients navigate this dynamic area. Our clients want to hear more about renewable energy, and this is a way to help them identify both the potential risks and opportunities.”

Marder also founded the Green Energy Finance Group, uniting Deutsche Bank colleagues from around the world and across divisions with interests in renewable energy, clean tech, energy efficiency, sustainability and alternative investments.

Susan_Skerritt

“Deutsche Bank is not simply interested in clean energy and sustainability because of business opportunities. We believe in the benefits of acting sustainably and combating climate change.”

Susan Skerritt Head of Global Transaction Banking, Americas
Will_Marder

“It’s exciting to be at the forefront of helping our clients navigate this dynamic area. Our clients want to hear more about renewable energy, and this is a way to help them identify both the potential risks and opportunities.”

Will Marder Global Product Manager for Project Finance and organizer of the event

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