Inside S&P Global Ratings IFR Outlook H1 2019: Political uncertainty, sustainability and ESG

S&P Global Ratings has published 2019’s first edition of Infrastructure Finance Outlook, its newsletter of key infrastructure and project finance-related research and ratings news.

In this edition, S&P Global Ratings considers global infrastructure investment trends, spanning China, the GCC and the Americas, along with the regulatory and political risk factors across these regions.

With global political uncertainties on the rise, infrastructure investors are even more focused on long-term sustainability. And, as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations are rising to the fore of investment strategies, the credit rating agency dedicates this edition to providing greater insight to its newest offering, the ESG Evaluation.

Please see the full newsletter in PDF here.

Natixis runs books for first green and sustainable syndicated loan for European independent power producer, covered by specialist press

Natixis acted as mandated arranger, sole coordinator, bookrunner and sustainable development coordinator for the issuance of a €100 million loan by French power producer Voltalia – the first green and sustainable syndicated loan for a European independent power producer.

“By supporting Voltalia in this new operation, Natixis confirms its long-term commitment with this client, and its determination to deliver innovative solutions underpinned by its strategic commitment to green and sustainable finance based on three pillars: innovation, service and integrity” said Marc Vincent, Global Head of Corporate & Investment Banking and Member of the Senior Management Committee, Natixis.

Following outreach by Moorgate, the news was covered by the following specialist publications: Environmental Finance, FinanzNarichten, DGAP, Renewables Now, Bloomberg, La Mia Finanza, Il Sole 24 Ore, PV Magazine, IJGlobal, TXF, Solarnews and EticaNews.

Italy’s wind & solar capacity set for significant growth by 2030, says S&P Global Ratings, covered by the specialist press

In the coming years, Italy’s gas-dominated power market will transform as wind and solar capacity catches up and coal-fired assets are phased out. This is according to a new report from S&P Global Ratings analysing Italy’s National Energy Strategy, which aims to increase the share of renewable sources to 30% by 2030.

Stefania Belisario, Associate Director of Infrastructure at S&P Global Ratings and primary analyst of the report, says: “The anticipated growth in renewables to 2030 adds downward pressure on wholesale power market prices, but this will be offset by continued coal and nuclear closures in France, Germany, and elsewhere as well as upside in demand from the electrification of transport, and, to a lesser extent, heating.”

Following outreach by Moorgate, the report was covered by Solar Power Management, Energia Oltre and World of Renewables.

Natixis and Groupama Group launch innovative green insurance product

Natixis has teamed up with Groupama Gan Vie, a subsidiary of the Groupama Group, to launch the first green structured note that is entirely supportive of the energy transition. The move reflects both groups’ proactive approach to the fight against climate change.

The product offers a means to directly finance renewable energy projects in order to ensure more environmentally-respectful energy production. The funds collected will be invested exclusively in wind, solar, hydraulic and biomass projects that respect responsible management criteria. The structured not will be issued by Natixis and launched on 1 May.

Elie Bitton, Head of EMEA Sales and Global Head of Financial Engineering, Natixis Global Markets, said: “We are proud today to be able to offer an investment solution that is 100% committed to the climate, and we thank Groupama for its trust and confidence in this high-profile operation.”

Following outreach from Moorgate, news of the launch was covered by El Asesor FinancieroNoticias CanariasStructured Retail ProductsInternational AdvisorCompelo and Investment Europe.

S&P Global Ratings publishes its latest edition of Global Infrastructure Finance Outlook

What key trends do infrastructure investors face in 2019? For one, nationalist and populist movements are on the rise – creating an environment of heightened political risk, which investors may find hard to navigate. The result could weigh heavily on regulatory stability, as well as country risk or sovereign credit quality.

In tandem, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters are beginning to rise in prominence. Increasingly, investors are stepping up their focus in their investment mandates on companies that are seen as acting more sustainably.

Against this backdrop, the latest edition of Outlook keeps investors abreast of the most-read research from the past quarter – offering insights into how the Infrastructure segment is changing and, importantly, how it may yet evolve.

Outlook is available in PDF here

Moorgate compiles, edits and designs Infrastructure Finance Outlook.

S&P Global Ratings’ Michael Ferguson explains the credit implications of California’s renewable mandate in Utility Dive

In September 2018, now-outgoing California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB100: a mandate to keep California on a path to deriving 100% of its power from clean sources by 2045. In an article for Utility Dive, S&P Global Ratings’ Michael Ferguson explains how this may mean significant credit implications for the state’s power generators.

Undeniably, SB100 is a boon for renewable energy assets in California. But it’s a mistake to consider these benefits to be mutually interchangeable — instead some assets stand to benefit more than others.

Ferguson writes: “While SB100 will naturally benefit existing solar and wind power, less obvious is by how much and when. Both asset types represent most renewable installations in the Golden State. Yet they are by no means immune from risk.”

Read the article here.

S&P Global Ratings’ Michael Ferguson explores how California’s 100% renewable mandate will impact power markets; covered by the specialist press

In September, California Governor, Jerry Brown, unveiled a new gold standard for renewable energy in the U.S. – a mandate requiring the state to go 100% “green” by 2045. Yet for all the bill’s praise, a report published by S&P Global Ratings suggests that numerous technological and political challenges lie ahead.

As California edges towards its renewable goal, the economics of gas-fired generation promises to worsen. On the flip side, renewable energy will of course benefit though the extent of this will depend on the asset type. The durability and reliability of hydro and geothermal power, for instance, put these assets in pole position. Question marks remain over solar and wind, however:  the intermittent nature of these resources will, according to some estimates, necessitate a 200-fold increase in battery storage. Development in this sector has yet to truly take off.

Following Moorgate’s outreach, Climate Change News, Infrastructure Investor, Energy Manager Today, Energy Manager Today, NA Clean Energy, and Environmental Finance covered the news.

In Power Energy Solutions Solar, S&P Global Ratings’ Rachel Goult considers that the GCC’s solar industry is heating up

With ample desert space and swathes of sunshine all year round, the countries of the Gulf Coorporation Council (GCC) are well placed to benefit from renewable technology advancements and lowering costs in the solar industry. Rachel Goult, Director at S&P Global Ratings, explores developments in the region in Power Energy Solutions Solar.

To read the full article, please click here.

S&P Global Ratings’ Julyana Yokata considers the onshore wind industry in Latin America, in Power Energy Solutions Wind

S&P Global Ratings rated its first onshore wind project in 2003. Since then, the renewable energy sector has undergone tremendous expansion. In Latin America in particular, onshore wind power sources are playing an increasingly important role. Julyana Yokota, Director, considers the unique challenges and opportunities facing onshore wind power producers in the Latin American region.

To read the full article, please click here.

Credit risk, stranded assets and the environment: S&P Global Ratings’ Mike Wilkins contributes a chapter to a major new Routledge study

With ongoing advances in sustainability, the risk of being unable to monetise ca​r​bon assets grows by the day. A new book from Routledge, Stranded Assets and the Environment: Risk, Resilience and Opportunity, explores the ramifications of asset stranding across various sectors of the global economy.

Mike Wilkins, Head of Sustainable Finance at S&P Global Ratings, supplies chapter 8, drawing on research and real-world corporate case studies to focus on the credit implications of stranded assets.