Article by Nick Vermeulen

Jersey has been building experience and expertise in fund structuring and administration for Cleantech, a sector predicting substantial growth over the next few years. The tipping point for moving into Cleantech has arrived and Jersey is ready to provide full support to investors.

So why now? The global downturn has prompted companies to look for efficiencies within their existing production processes using new cleaner technology. The impact on profits of such changes in the production process can easily be calculated, making the expected yield attractive to investors. in an uncertain market, the stable and predictable nature of the return is also very appealing.

Meanwhile, on the energy front, the role of nuclear technology in many countries' national energy strategies has been re-assessed post-Fukushima, providing an extra impulse for renewable energy generation in certain markets. in 2011 the sector sustained high deal numbers and a record total value.

Deal sizes are rocketing. PWC's 2012 Renewables Deals report states that deals for 'new generation' renewable technologies – wind, solar and biomass - are entering the big time. values rose 40% year on year, from Us$38.2bn in 2010 to a record Us$53.5bn in 2011. solar, wind and energy efficiency deals overtook hydropower as the driver for big deal values - one in every three deals last year was solar.

Venture capital, private equity and infrastructure

As the sector matures, Cleantech is becoming attractive to Venture Capital, Private Equity and Infrastructure, for certain types of investment opportunities. Venture Capital and Private Equity are looking at early stage investment in technology, whilst Infrastructure is looking to invest in proven technology in proven sites with a proven return.

Jersey is a key location globally in the Private Equity and Infrastructure sectors and is well geared up to support Cleantech investors and help sustainable investment funds manage for growth, with a range of top quality professional service providers who have specialist knowledge in all aspects of green investments. Examples include the Green Foundation trusts being pioneered by Mourant Ozannnes, independent fiduciary service providers such as JTC Group supporting Jersey-based Renewable Energy Generation Ltd and Foresight amongst others, right through to specialist skills in helping Private Equity houses meet the reporting requirements, as outlined in PWC's recently launched report 'Creating Value from Environmental, Social and Governance Issues'.

Major players have been in Jersey for some time, from Icecap and Camco to AIM-listed funds holding assets in wind, solar and energy from waste, including Foresight group's European Solar Fund Limited Partnership (an Expert fund), Renewable Energy Generation and Ludgate Environmental Fund.

Pressures on fuel supplies and the need to keep operating costs down to remain competitive are global concerns. Cleantech has a truly global market and appetite for it is increasing at a hugely significant rate. The time to jump into or grow your presence in this market is now and the place to do it is Jersey.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.