In 2004, HgCapital in Britain became the first company in the UK to create a team of private equity investors to renewable energy investments. Two years, later, the fund was fully endowed. The team is led by HgCapital’s Tom Murley, who is a leading expert in green energy with many years of experience. He recently sat on the panel for the First Global Investors Forum on Climate Change in Hong Kong, and is also the chairman of Sustainable Energy, Environment and Technologies at the British Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. The goal of HgCapital’s renewable energy portfolio is to create a scale of economy in order to reduce costs and give incentives for consumers.
Tom Murley says that when it comes to investing in wind energy specifically, long term investors should look at the United States and China, and in the short term be looking at the market for wind energy in Northern Europe and the offshore wind farms in Western Europe. The wind industry needs to deliver more products and reduce costs before it will see wide scale investments, according to Murley.
Slowly, in spite of economic austerity, normal people are beginning to realize the toll the conventional power takes on human health and the environment, which will be good for renewable markets. Murley says that the market feasibility and environmental concerns will eventually collide, but the industry still needs to focus on reliability and reducing costs. Educating consumers on the advances in technology will also be helpful. The green power industry need to prove to the public that it can survive with no or few subsidies, and that will attract large investments.
Murley, who has a law degree, has been working in energy investing for over 15 years and was the head of the environmental and renewable energy team for Allianz before joining HgCapital in 2004. He sits on the board of advisors for the Wind Energy Associations in the UK and Sweden. His firm is the largest owner of wind farms in Northern Europe and devotes seven people full time to sustainable investing.