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Danish fund eyes Taiwan in $2 bn Asia green energy push

A Danish fund manager is eyeing billions of dollars of green investment into Asia as it focuses on the region for a new renewable energy fund.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners say it already has 4 billion euros ($4.7 billion) of commitments for its Copenhagen Infrastructure IV fund and expects to reach its target of 5.5 billion euros by the end of December, in what it claims would be the world’s largest renewable energy fund.

CIP expects up to one-third of the fund to be invested in Asia, with a plan to pour up to 10% of the fund into Taiwan because of its high potential for renewable energy projects.

CIP was founded in 2012 by former executives of Danish energy group Orsted. Excluding the new fund, the Asia-Pacific region accounts for about 10% of funds under management.

While renewable energy investments in Europe are maturing, “the timing is now coming to Asia [which is] having a stronger focus on renewables,” CIP Director Niels Christian Boehm said.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, over half of the renewable energy generation capacity added in 2019 was in Asia.

Boehm said the new fund was already involved in offshore wind projects in Taiwan, Japan and Australia. The fund will also look at South Korea, and consider other renewable energy technologies such as solar power generation, onshore wind farms and biogas.

The director sees Taiwan as the regional leader as far as renewable energy projects. Its capacity for offshore wind energy jumped to 128 megawatts in 2019 from just 8 megawatts in 2017, according to the IREA.

“With the Taiwanese government having some very ambitious plans to shift to renewables, it has opened up for us to bring our technology and knowledge … into Asia,” said Boehm.

CIP made its first investment decision in Taiwan in February, when it announced start on construction of the 589 megawatt Changfang and Xidao project.

“We sense there are some very good prospects in other parts of Asia Pacific,” said Boehm. “We see a lot of political attention [in Japan], and the same goes for a number of other countries.”

There was also increased attention from investors, Boehm said, including the first Japanese investors in one of CIP’s funds.

CIP also recently said it will develop the 3.5-gigawatt offshore wind project in Vietnam’s Binh Thuan Province.

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