Goodwin Procter recently hosted the New England Clean Energy Council’s Finance Series program “Understanding the Structure of Your Deal.” The October 27 event featured panelists from the New England Clean Energy Council, BlueWave Capital, Goodwin Procter and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Attendees included entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, government representatives, scholars, students, and legal, financial and tax advisors, as well as other members of the New England clean technology community.
Panelists discussed a range of issues surrounding deal structure in the clean energy sector. Positive trends in the marketplace include a broad sense of global political will to support clean energy innovation and investment, and there has been an increase in investment from abroad through sovereign wealth funds originating in China, the Middle East and Japan.
However, the discussion also addressed challenges facing clean energy transactions. Divergent risk profiles between financiers and developers hamper investment where project timelines often exceed investor timelines for expected returns on investment. Regulatory inconsistencies across jurisdictions, shifts in policy and expiring tax credits all create inefficiencies and impede project fundraising.
The panelists fielded questions from the audience regarding, among other things, the difference between technology risks and regulatory risks, and operational efficiencies that benefit strategic investors as compared to pure financiers.
This post on Clean Tech was authored by Benjamin Chaset.