Energy Infrastructure Partners announces research cooperation with ETH Zurich

  • Energy Infrastructure Partners and ETH Zurich will collaborate to rethink Switzerland’s energy future through data-backed research
  • The project will synthesize ETH Zurich’s Nexus-e modeling platform technology with EIP’s specialist expertise

ZURICH, December 20, 2022 — Energy Infrastructure Partners and the ETH Zurich Energy Science Center have signed a research collaboration. Over the coming months, EIP and ETH Zurich will develop a set of scenarios and assess their impact on the future of Switzerland’s electricity system, including prices, volatility and the need for generation capacity.

The current year has been historic for the energy markets, upending many former paradigms and raising questions about security of supply in Europe and Switzerland. Through their analysis, EIP and ETH Zurich aim to provide decision makers with fresh perspectives. The collaboration will develop data-backed insights to illustrate pathways into a sustainable and secure energy future, while identifying potential risks and opportunities to the Swiss and European energy systems.

“We’re excited to be working closely with the experts at ETH Zurich on this project. We expect the results of our collaboration to support the EIP team to better understand Switzerland’s energy future, as well as to provide asset-specific impacts and opportunities arising from potential scenarios,” commented Roland Dörig, EIP’s co-founder and managing partner.

The project will involve two main stages, the first of which will be used to establish, develop and discuss proposed electricity system scenarios; the second stage will assess the impacts of the previously-defined scenarios, with a particular focus on hourly and seasonal volatility and the consequential revenue effects for operators.

About Energy Infrastructure Partners AG 

Energy Infrastructure Partners AG is a Switzerland-based manager of collective assets focused on long-term equity investments in high-quality, large-scale renewables and system-critical energy infrastructure assets. Our strategy and investment horizon align with the lifetime of the underlying assets and generate visible cash flows. With over CHF 5 billion under management, EIP leverages an extensive industry network, broad transaction experience and partnerships with leading energy companies and the public sector to develop and manage investment solutions for institutional investors globally. EIP’s investor base includes pension funds, insurance companies and large family offices, who are increasingly interested in contributing to security of the energy supply as a pathway to create positive economic, ecological and social developments, and whose long-term funding needs closely match the energy infrastructure asset class.

Media contact

[email protected]

With funding of EUR 1bn, Energy Infrastructure Partners holds first close of its energy transition infrastructure fund

  • Considering strong deal-making momentum and demand from Swiss pension funds, EIP expands focus to global institutional investors and targets EUR 4bn for fund’s final close
  • The first close focused on Swiss pension funds who contributed more than EUR 700m through the Credit Suisse Investment Foundation’s investment group “CSA Energy-Transition Infrastructure”
  • EIP closed two landmark transactions in the first leg of fundraising. Fund’s seed assets include leading French renewables platform Boralex and Repsol’s global renewable energy arm; investment in Fluxys’s global energy transmission network awaits closing

ZURICH, December 13, 2022 — Energy Infrastructure Partners, one of the world’s leading infrastructure investors focused on the energy transition, successfully raised investor commitments of EUR 1bn in collaboration with Credit Suisse Investment Foundation for the first close of its global energy transition infrastructure fund.

Following previous strategies focused on energy transition assets in Switzerland and Europe, EIP’s global fund targets investments in developed economies worldwide. Its investment strategy focuses on three types of system-critical energy infrastructure where its expertise comes into play: assets that generate carbon-free energy; assets that transport energy, like power grids and transmission networks; and assets that store energy, like grid-scale batteries and pumped storage power plants, thus adding flexibility to energy systems.

By creating a diversified portfolio spanning these subsectors, the fund seeks to offer investors attractive risk-adjusted returns and visible cash yield while decarbonizing the energy sector and strengthening the security of supply in every market where it invests.

Historic opportunity to invest in the energy transition

“From households paying higher energy bills to central bankers fighting inflation, our sector is at the top of everyone’s mind right now,” said Roland Dörig, EIP’s co-founder and managing partner. “The need for investments in energy infrastructure globally has rarely been so obvious. As specialists focused exclusively on the energy infrastructure, we offer our investors know-how accumulated across more than 50 infrastructure investments and, among our senior leadership, more than 3 centuries of combined industry experience.”

As with the predecessor funds, EIP will continue to execute its investment mandate alongside strategic industrial partners, including leading global blue-chip energy companies like Repsol S.A., RWE and Iberdrola S.A.

Throughout the first close EIP concentrated on serving the Swiss pension market in close collaboration with the Credit Suisse Investment Foundation. Many Swiss pensions funds are now investing in an EIP-managed portfolio for the second or third time.

Energy infrastructure as an asset class, strong global dealmaking momentum

“The strong demand from our longstanding Swiss client base – especially amid several choppy quarters in public markets and central banks’ movement away from a low-rate environment – is a strong vote of confidence in EIP and energy infrastructure,” said Beat Goetz, EIP’s head of global client solutions. “Considering the unique qualities of system-critical energy infrastructure, this space is seen more and more as its own asset class.”

As of the first close, the fund’s investors will participate in two major investments EIP completed earlier this year: A 30% stake in Boralex Inc.’s French renewables platform, one of the country’s largest renewables platforms with more than 1 gigawatt of installed generation capacity; and the 25% stake EIP shares with Crédit Agricole Assurances in Repsol’s global renewable energy unit Repsol Renovables, with more than 1.6 gigawatts of installed capacity globally.

Both investments come with ambitious growth plans to expand the operating asset base – by 2030 Boralex’s capacity should increase by 3x, Repsol’s by 10x – and expand into new geographies in both Europe and the Americas.

EIP has also reached an exclusive agreement to take a 19.85% stake in Fluxys, a global operator of system-critical energy transmission infrastructure. The group’s portfolio includes liquefied natural gas terminals, gas storage facilities and a network of gas pipelines that serves Europe’s largest markets and provides important arteries between the continent and the rest of the world.

Given the size of the deal pipeline and global investor appetite, EIP is accelerating its fundraising efforts for a second close while expanding its focus beyond Switzerland. Targeting EUR 4bn in total commitment, the fund’s final close is planned for the end of 2024.

Inside the portfolio: Repsol Renovables

Inside the portfolio: Boralex France

About Energy Infrastructure Partners AG 

Energy Infrastructure Partners AG is a Switzerland-based manager of collective assets focused on long-term equity investments in high-quality, large-scale renewables and system-critical energy infrastructure assets. Our strategy and investment horizon align with the lifetime of the underlying assets and generate stable, visible cash flows. With over CHF 5 billion under management, EIP leverages an extensive industry network, broad transaction experience and partnerships with leading energy companies and the public sector to develop and manage investment solutions for institutional investors globally. EIP’s investor base includes pension funds, insurance companies and large family offices, who are increasingly interested in contributing to security of the energy supply as a pathway to create positive economic, ecological and social developments, and whose long-term funding needs closely match the energy infrastructure asset class.

Media contact

[email protected]

Investments in Hydrogen: What Switzerland has to contribute and gain — NZZ Nachhaltig Investieren 

Around 15 percent of carbon dioxide emissions cannot simply be eliminated by clean energy. That’s where hydrogen, the Swiss Army knife of the energy transition, steps in.

The classic answer to solving the energy transition seems obvious: By powering everything with green electricity, harmful carbon dioxide emissions disappear. Sounds simple – but there’s a catch.

Torsten Kowalski and Beat Goetz

Originally published on 2 December within the NZZ’s December 2022 issue of “Nachhaltig Investieren.”
Download the original article (in German) or read it online.

According to Columbia University’s School of Climate Research, around 15 percent of carbon dioxide emissions cannot simply be eliminated by clean energy. That’s where hydrogen, the Swiss Army knife of the energy transition, steps in.

Like a versatile Swiss Army knife, hydrogen can be used in a variety of ways to significantly reduce remaining carbon dioxide emissions – but the possible use of hydrogen must be carefully weighed for each application. “You could change the tire on your bicycle with a Swiss Army knife, but you wouldn’t. There is always something cheaper, safer and easier,” says Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance and an expert on the energy transition. That’s because hydrogen has a weak point: If hydrogen is produced from green electricity, up to a third of the energy used is lost. The same occurs if the energy stored in the hydrogen is used to create electricity in a power plant.

Yet the flexibility and dynamics of hydrogen are unique and make it particularly valuable as a means of storing and transporting energy. From the margarine on your breakfast table, to the chemicals in your car, to the plastic bag at the supermarket – you can’t do anything without the hydrogen molecule. Its primary use is in industrial applications, where greenhouse gas emissions cannot be eliminated even by green power. This group of use cases includes fertilizer manufacturing, steel production and dozens of other industrial processes that cannot be electrified.

New infrastructure for the energy transition

Many advanced economies have made progress by adding renewable generation sources to their energy mix, integrating wind farms and solar power plants into existing infrastructure. To achieve the same with hydrogen, the infrastructure for its production, transport and application must simultaneously be developed or retrofitted. That requires investors – and the investment requirements are high.

According to the “Hydrogen4EU” study conducted by Deloitte, up to 5.5 trillion euros will be needed over the next 30 years – or the equivalent of seven times Switzerland’s annual economic output. This figure includes the cost of repurposing existing infrastructure, like natural gas pipelines, which will be much more cost efficient than developing new infrastructure from the ground up.

Energy Infrastructure Partners (EIP) was founded in 2014 with the aim of helping to shape the future of the global energy sector. Since then, the Zurich-based company has been investing over the long term on behalf of clients into high-quality, large-scale renewable energy infrastructure such as wind farms and solar and hydropower plants. The company also focuses on energy transport assets such as power grids and pipelines, infrastructure that today transports natural gas but could be converted in the near future to transport hydrogen.

Supplying Europe with hydrogen

Just a few weeks ago, EIP signed an agreement to participate in the Belgian gas transmission system operator Fluxys on behalf of its clients. Fluxys’ 12,000-kilometer network connects Europe’s core regions and is also linked to import routes from Asia via Greece.

Fluxys is also preparing for a post-fossil fuels future. However, “it is not yet possible to say today what the future will look like in 30 years,” says Fluxys CEO Pascal De Buck. “What is needed is a combination of different solutions, including hydrogen.” The pipeline network will play a key role. An analysis by the industry association Hydrogen Council in collaboration with McKinsey & Company predicts that 60 percent of hydrogen and hydrogen derivative consumption will be imported over long distances in the future. Countries with a bountiful supply of sunlight that can be used for solar power in southern Europe, and even in North Africa and the Middle East, could deliver green hydrogen at low cost across Europe. Therefore, the ability to import and transport hydrogen across Europe would become invaluable within the next decades.

Switzerland’s early involvement

EIP is also heavily committed at home in Switzerland. As portfolio manager for a Swiss investment group in which a significant number of Swiss pension funds participate, the company manages a large stake in energy company Alpiq, which makes an important contribution to Switzerland’s security of supply. Alpiq has also driven the construction of one of the country’s first industrial hydrogen generators. In the electrolyzer at the Gösgen run-of-river power station, green electricity is used to split water into its components, oxygen and hydrogen. “Hydrogen is becoming a key energy carrier that will play a similarly central role in a net-zero world as natural gas does today,” says Alpiq CEO Antje Kanngiesser. “As a first mover in Switzerland, Alpiq can gain valuable experience and know-how early on,” explains Kanngiesser.

Since 2016, EIP has also managed a stake in the Ticino-based company FluxSwiss, which organizes the Transitgas pipeline’s cross-border trading activities. Transitgas connects Switzerland with Italy, France and Germany. Today, it is an artery that supplies Switzerland with natural gas, but in the future, it could play a decisive role in transporting hydrogen from southern Europe to Switzerland and further north. The associated technical adaptations can, in principle, be implemented with appropriate investments at competitive costs.

“We need a strategy”

As with all major infrastructure projects – be it railroads or telecommunications – the energy transition and the shift to a hydrogen economy will only succeed through a joint effort between the private sector and the state.

“Hydrogen is seen by a wide variety of circles as an important element in the development of the decarbonization of our economy in the coming years,” Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga told the National Council in 2021. “Switzerland has a lot to offer here.” At the same time, it’s not as simple as it sounds. “We need a strategy,” she added.

This strategy includes reaching an understanding with neighboring countries and the European Union, for example, to define regulatory and technical requirements as well as the tariff framework. While Switzerland’s neighbors have already developed hydrogen strategies up to 2050, Sommaruga pointed out that such a mission statement is still lacking in Switzerland. To encourage sustainable investment in the long term, Switzerland must promptly formulate a clear strategy and swiftly put it into action.

⁠—

Dr. Torsten Kowalski, Vice President, and Beat Goetz, Global Head of Client Solutions, both work at Energy Infrastructure Partners in Zurich.

Managing partners acquire Credit Suisse’s remaining stake in Energy Infrastructure Partners

  • Energy Infrastructure Partners AG co-founders and managing partners acquire Credit Suisse AG’s 30% stake in EIP, strengthening independence amid global expansion
  • Credit Suisse remains an important partner for raising and managing client capital in the Swiss market

ZURICH, October 21, 2022 — Energy Infrastructure Partners’ managing partners have acquired Credit Suisse AG’s 30% stake in Energy Infrastructure Partners AG, or EIP.

The increase in management control comes as EIP, a leading infrastructure investor focused on the energy transition, continues to grow and expand globally. EIP began in 2014 as a joint venture with Credit Suisse and since 2020 has earned licenses to operate independently as an asset and fund manager in Switzerland and Luxembourg. More recently the company has expanded its investment activity and client offering globally.

Consolidating EIP’s shareholder group around its co-founders and managing partners further strengthens the company’s independence and reinforces its foundation amid this global expansion.

Continued partnership amid global expansion

Following the transaction, Credit Suisse will remain an important partner for EIP through bespoke vehicles serving Swiss pension funds. The transaction will neither affect EIP’s ongoing investment or asset management activity nor existing vehicles.

“Increasing our stake in the business underlines our firm belief in EIP’s team, culture and strategy as well as our strong commitment to our clients,” said Dr. Dominik Bollier, EIP’s co-founder and managing partner.

“This strategic step enables EIP to pursue our ambitious growth plans in times of strong demand for energy infrastructure, which has become more important than ever in today’s world,” added Roland Dörig, EIP’s co-founder and managing partner.

About Energy Infrastructure Partners AG 

Energy Infrastructure Partners AG is a Switzerland-based manager of collective assets focused on long-term equity investments in high-quality, large-scale renewables and system-critical energy infrastructure assets. Our strategy and investment horizon align with the lifetime of the underlying assets and generate visible cash flows. With over CHF 5 billion under management, EIP leverages an extensive industry network, broad transaction experience and partnerships with leading energy companies and the public sector to develop and manage investment solutions for institutional investors globally. EIP’s investor base includes pension funds, insurance companies and large family offices, who are increasingly interested in contributing to security of the energy supply as a pathway to create positive economic, ecological and social developments, and whose long-term funding needs closely match the energy infrastructure asset class.

Media contact

[email protected]

EIP to invest in second German offshore wind farm, Iberdrola’s Wikinger

  • Energy Infrastructure Partners reaches agreement to acquire 49% stake in Iberdrola offshore wind farm with 350 megawatts of capacity in the Baltic Sea
  • Agreement builds on EIP expertise in offshore wind and further increases access to Germany’s highly attractive feed-in tariff regime across client portfolios


ZURICH, September 14, 2022
— Energy Infrastructure Partners, a leading infrastructure investor focused on the global energy transition, has reached an agreement on behalf of its clients to take a 49% stake in Iberdrola S.A.’s Wikinger offshore wind farm.

Wikinger operates under Germany’s feed-in tariff regime, which the country launched to spur clean energy investments and has since closed to new projects. The scheme offers a guaranteed price for all electricity produced by the Wikinger wind farm through 2037.

Unlike other fixed-price offtake arrangements, the wind farm and other assets in the scheme can sell the power they produce at market prices whenever they exceed the tariff.

Partnership with global leader in the renewable energy movement

Iberdrola entered the German market by building Wikinger, which began operations in 2018. Germany has since become a focus market for the Spanish multinational, which has built more than two decades of experience in renewable energy and is on track to amass 60 gigawatts of installed carbon-free generation capacity globally by 2025. Iberdrola will remain Wikinger’s majority shareholder and continue providing operation and maintenance services.

“Opportunities to join global leaders like Iberdrola as investment partners in a wind farm of this caliber – and with access to one of the most attractive regulatory schemes in the world – do not come around that often,” said Roland Dörig, EIP’s co-founder and managing partner. “It’s an especially proud day for our investors and another important moment in our growth story.”

Leveraging expertise in offshore wind

“It’s an honor to partner with Iberdrola, a pioneer and undisputed leader in the offshore wind industry,” said Peter Schümers, EIP’s co-head of Investments. “Adding a second offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea allows us to continue leveraging our expertise with this technology while enhancing diversification across our clients’ portfolios.”

Since it entered operation, Wikinger’s 70 turbines have contributed 350 megawatts in capacity of carbon-free electricity to Germany’s green energy ambitions, enough to power about 350,000 German homes, according to an Iberdrola analysis.

EIP manages a stake in the adjacent Arkona wind farm with 378 megawatts of capacity in partnership with RWE AG following a 2020 investment.

About Energy Infrastructure Partners AG 

Energy Infrastructure Partners AG is a Switzerland-based manager of collective assets focused on long-term equity investments in high-quality, large-scale renewables and system-critical energy infrastructure assets. Our strategy and investment horizon align with the lifetime of the underlying assets and generate visible cash flows. With over CHF 5 billion under management, EIP leverages an extensive industry network, broad transaction experience and partnerships with leading energy companies and the public sector to develop and manage investment solutions for institutional investors globally. EIP’s investor base includes pension funds, insurance companies and large family offices, who are increasingly interested in contributing to security of the energy supply as a pathway to create positive economic, ecological and social developments, and whose long-term funding needs closely match the energy infrastructure asset class.

Media contact

[email protected]

Energy Infrastructure Partners receives AIFM license, expands client offering

Luxembourg, July 22, 2022 – Energy Infrastructure Partners has secured authorization from Luxembourg’s financial supervisor to operate as an Alternative Investment Fund Manager, the latest step in strategic growth in investments supporting the conversion and expansion of the global energy system.

The Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), which is responsible for supervising Luxembourg’s financial sector, has granted Energy Infrastructure Partners’ Luxembourg subsidiary a license as an Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM) following an intensive application process.

Starting now Energy Infrastructure Partners will be able to manage and market alternative investment funds (AIF) in Luxembourg under its own license. The associated cross-border passporting rights will in turn enable the manager to market and distribute its own products across the European Union. Energy Infrastructure Partners will thereby streamline its European activities and further strengthen relationships with European investors.

Stéphanie Pinheiro, Head of Energy Infrastructure Partners Luxembourg, commented, “The AIFM license is the next logical step for Energy Infrastructure Partners. Achieving this milestone enables us to further extend our geographic scope and serve clients anywhere in the European Union now better than ever.”

Dr. Dominik Bollier, co-founder and Managing Partner of Energy Infrastructure Partners, added, “The granting of this license comes at the ideal time as we aim to give our investors access to investment opportunities arising from the conversion and expansion of the global energy system.”

Transitioning the global economy towards a decarbonized energy system while safeguarding the security of supply will require significant levels of investment over the coming decades.

Energy Infrastructure Partners’ new global offering leverages the energy infrastructure expertise of its interdisciplinary team, comprising 70 experts across its offices in Zurich and Luxembourg. Its hands-on investment approach targets long-term, direct investments into high-quality, large-scale renewables and system-critical energy infrastructure with attractive, stable cash flows. Energy Infrastructure Partners works with reputable industrial partners and the public sector, where environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters are thoroughly analyzed and managed.

Constructed in a diversified fashion around one of the most resilient asset classes – and focused on critical subsectors like renewable energy, energy transmission and distribution, power system flexibility and energy storage – the offering is designed to give investors real asset–backed cash flows for decades.

Please direct enquiries to [email protected]

Energy Infrastructure Partners AG
Energy Infrastructure Partners AG (EIP) is a Switzerland-based manager of collective assets focused on high-quality, large-scale renewables and system-critical energy infrastructure assets. With over CHF 4 billion under management, EIP leverages an extensive industry network, broad transaction experience and close partnerships with energy suppliers and the public sector in order to develop and manage investment solutions for institutional investors globally. These clients include pension funds, insurance companies and large family offices who are increasingly interested in contributing to security of the energy supply as a pathway to create positive economic, ecological and social developments. Pension funds in particular appreciate investment opportunities that generate long-term, visible cash flows – a trademark of energy infrastructure and a profile that matches their need to fund the retirement income of their members.

In the news: Interview with Roland Dörig on the energy crisis

Energy prices explode: “The electricity bill can quickly become almost as expensive as the cost of rent.”

Roland Dörig invests billions in energy infrastructure on behalf of pension funds. What happens when Putin turns off the gas tap? How will electricity prices develop? And what is going wrong in energy policy? The co-founder of Energy Infrastructure Partners speaks plainly.

By Rolf Cavalli and Patrik Müller

Originally published on July 20, 2022 by CH Media.
Download the original article (in German).

Shortly after the war began, you painted a bleak picture in a background interview with us. You said that without Russian gas, the European economy was threatened with collapse. How do you see the situation today?

Roland Dörig: Unfortunately, it has come true: Western Europe cannot do without Russian gas for the time being.

At the time, we were discussing whether the West should boycott Putin’s gas. Now, conversely, we fear that Putin will cut off our gas.

In my view, this was not a serious discussion at the time, but rather an emotional reaction to Putin’s war of aggression. Because not buying any more gas from Russia at all would not have been feasible in the short to medium term, both for the economy and for the population.

The Germans were more reticent from the outset with demands for a gas boycott.

Of course, Russian gas has been a particularly important energy source for Germany for decades, especially since most of the nuclear power plants there were taken off the grid without replacement. Ironically, a green economy minister there has now, of all people, brought coal-fired power plants back into play in an emergency exercise and tried to organize liquefied gas from Qatar.

Do we have to throw green resolutions and climate targets overboard?

I’ll have to backtrack briefly on this: At the turn of the millennium, the electricity market was liberalized and, at the same time, decarbonization was declared the central issue in Europe. Politicians have subsequently promoted the expansion of electricity production from wind and solar power with hundreds of billions of euros in subsidies…

…which depressed prices.

The rapid expansion of these heavily subsidized production facilities led to a massive drop in the price of electricity from non-subsidized generation. As a result, existing electricity production – for example, also from our domestic hydropower – no longer even covered its costs in economic terms for many years, even though it was necessary for security of supply.

Did this lead to price distortions?

Yes, and this led to a situation where not enough has been invested in the European energy infrastructure over the last 10 to 20 years. We have a lot of catching up to do! To come back to your specific question: No, we must not throw ecological goals overboard. But a viable energy supply must also be economical, i.e. affordable – and above all: secure!

At present, however, security of supply is given much higher priority than ecology.

Because we have not paid any attention to security of supply in the last 20 years. We have lived on the substance. Now this omission is catching up with us. Without security of supply, there can be no decarbonization and no affordable energy supply. The bad thing: We are actually emitting more CO2 worldwide today than ever before.

What went wrong?

Unfortunately, the ecological transformation was approached in a planned economy. Individual technologies were promoted instead of the overall system required for this. This forced all other technologies out of the market, even though wind and solar power require reserve capacity and sophisticated grid infrastructure. Gas-fired power plants, for example, didn’t stand a chance, even though they were needed.

But you are investing on a grand scale.

Yes, that’s precisely why we have specialized exclusively in the energy sector. We invest for our clients in supply-critical and ecological energy infrastructure assets – with a conservative, even boring investment strategy. The basic idea: The Swiss population invests in its own energy supply via pension funds. In this way, they can secure this and at the same time generate a contribution to their own pension.

How have these investments performed in the current price turbulence?

Excellent, of course. We invest in plants that are in short supply. And not for the next winter or the one after that, but for the next decades. Electrification is advancing and we will have a much higher demand for electricity in the near future; yet we already have too little electricity today.

Where should Switzerland expand?

In Europe and worldwide, we are investing primarily in wind and solar energy. In Switzerland, the focus is on hydropower and – very importantly – the transport and distribution of energy. The expansion of the grids and more flexibility in electricity production are becoming important. If there is too little sun or wind, it must be possible to tap other energy sources accordingly. That’s why energy storage is also central.

Under decarbonization, there would also be room for nuclear energy…

…yes, but from our point of view that is only a long-term option. We have an energy supply problem in the short and medium term. It may be 20 to 25 years before we have the first megawatt hour from a new nuclear power plant. By then, however, we must have solved the energy problem long ago.

Switzerland has been pursuing an import strategy since the energy policy introduced by Doris Leuthard. Is that still the right focus in times of Putin?

It wasn’t right before. It relied on renewable energies with very sporting assumptions that are now proving to be unrealistic, and simply relied on electricity imports for the rest. That has always been the Achilles’ heel of this strategy.

Is it realistic to supply Switzerland with electricity without imports in the long term?

No, but Switzerland definitely needs to become much more independent. We have to use everything that is renewable. In Switzerland, this is primarily hydropower, which still offers great potential for expansion.

Shortly before the war, Federal Councillor Sommaruga announced gas-fired power plants for 2025. Is that good or already outdated?

A broad portfolio of energy sources is important. For the time being, this also includes gas-fired power plants. But first and foremost, as I said, is hydropower, which we absolutely have to expand.

What can be done in the short term so that we don’t freeze next winter or the winter after that?

You’re putting me on the spot here. I only see the principle of hope. Hope for a warm winter, hope for an easing of tensions in Ukraine, hope that Nordstream 1 will come back online. Nevertheless, it is essential to make an unsparing analysis now and to derive measures.

In addition to the hope principle, there is also the deal principle: Ems leader Magdalena Martullo-Blocher is calling for peace negotiations with Putin to ensure that Russian gas continues to flow.

This is a political question. If you look at it in isolation in terms of security of supply, you would have to seek such a deal, because it is a fact that fossil energy from Russia cannot be completely replaced in the short term. But there are, of course, other aspects than security of supply. Politicians have to make this trade-off.

According to the federal government’s emergency concept, if bottlenecks were to occur in winter, large companies would first have to forego energy and shut down factories, and only then would households have to bleed. Does this prioritization make sense?

It depends on how long the shortage lasts. If it only lasts a few days, industry could probably bridge the bottlenecks best. But if you assume a long period, six months or even a year, that’s not nearly enough. The emergency concept is not designed for this. It works, for example, in the case of accidents like the one in Italy when a branch fell on a neuralgic line and the power failed there for a day. But not in the case of longer interruptions.

If gas stops flowing, this affects not only industry and households that heat with gas, but also everyone who needs electricity. This is because Switzerland imports a lot of electrical energy during the winter months, which comes from European gas-fired power plants…

That’s right, and there is far too little awareness of this in Switzerland. Because we don’t produce any electricity from gas ourselves. At least until now. Switzerland’s dependence on gas is completely underestimated in public opinion. The existence of the chemical industry would be threatened if supplies were to stop.

Russia has already cut back on supplies, with the result that energy prices have risen sharply.

Yes, and not just for gas from Russia, but also – and massively – for electricity. And because one disaster rarely comes alone: In France, about half of the nuclear power plants have been at a standstill for several months due to unplanned maintenance work – a megawatt hour there costs about 2,000 euros on average during the day – i.e. peak load – if you buy it today for November. The normal price is less than 100 euros.

Can that be? That the price has gone up 20 times?

These are the prices currently in force. Just imagine what that means for a household’s electricity bill. It can quickly become almost as expensive as the rent for an apartment. The situation is dramatic for industry: no car can be manufactured competitively in France at these energy costs. No industry can be sustained in Europe under these conditions, since energy is many times cheaper in Asia and North America.

For your understanding, the electricity price for November that you mentioned – is that a forecast?

No, these are the prices currently in effect. If a company buys electricity today, it currently pays 2000 euros for every hour in November instead of the usual 100 euros.

Why should I buy electricity now for these exorbitant prices?

Because you don’t know whether you will pay 5000 euros for it in October instead of 2000.

It’s like mortgage interest rates: you hedge for the long term?

Yes. Let’s take a look at the prices in Germany: There, we’re at about 650 euros per megawatt hour for November, and over 700 francs in Switzerland. These are average values for the fourth quarter.

So in Switzerland it’s about ten times more than usual?

Yes, that is correct as an order of magnitude. The accelerated expansion of renewables described above has resulted in increasingly low prices for electricity in recent years. As a result, the expansion of other types of generation became unattractive and was neglected. This is now having double revenge.

So in the fall and winter, Swiss electricity consumers will receive massively higher electricity bills.

Yes, but it will vary from utility to utility because they have different procurement and hedging strategies for electricity. There could be huge differences.

Then you don’t have to move to another canton or city for tax reasons, but for energy cost reasons….

That’s an exaggerated way of putting it, but it’s a new situation that we’ll have to adjust to.

With these enormous prices, many households will no longer be able to pay the bills. Should the state step in – as it did with the Corona hardship cases?

That, too, is a political question. It is important that the public sector does not make the mistake of directly influencing the price of electricity. That’s what Italy has done. Then no company invests in long-term electricity production and infrastructure. The most important thing that politicians should do is this: Create reliable framework conditions so that companies and investors invest in the energy sector for the long term. This is the only way we can achieve security of supply and decarbonization at the same time at a sustainable cost.

Now is the time to invest in the energy transition — NZZ Nachhaltig Investieren

A global energy shortage and decades of underinvestment have created an opportunity to rewrite the future of the energy industry.

By Roland Dörig and Beat Goetz

Originally published on June 24 within the NZZ’s June 2022 issue of “Nachhaltig Investieren.”
Download the original article (in German).

Behind closed doors, captains of the energy industry say they have been having a difficult time at home. “How could you let this happen?” their children and grandchildren want to know.

The world the younger generation is inheriting is one that is playing catch up. While populations have grown and old power plants have started to crumble, it’s hard to think of one country in the world that has invested enough in new energy infrastructure.

Switzerland is no exception. Like many rich countries, we have flirted at times with irresponsible decadence: We powered down nuclear power plants, but we also didn’t want wind turbines blocking our views or photovoltaic panels covering our valleys.

The price we must pay for the urgently needed energy transition is increasingly becoming clear at home, across Europe and around the world. According to the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, Switzerland alone must invest at least 1.5 trillion francs in energy infrastructure by 2050, equivalent to Switzerland’s annual gross domestic product.

Limited electricity supply has meanwhile pushed power prices to record highs, sometimes 10 times the price from just a year earlier in 2021.

In Texas, six power plants failed at the same time this spring, making power prices jump more than 20 times year over year. At least 12 of the United States will face blackouts this summer – a shocking reality for the richest country in the world, but unfortunately a global trend. In March, an earthquake and cold weather pushed Tokyo to the edge of blackout.

Decisively shaping the future of the energy system

“We are running out of time – literally running out of time,” German Economics and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck recently told the German Bundestag. His country fears that the lights will go out if Putin turns off flows of gas into Germany.

Despite this emergency, the present circumstances can also be seen as a unique opportunity to fundamentally redesign and renew our energy systems.

Today we employ more than 70 sector specialist who spend every day of the year thinking about energy infrastructure. One portfolio company at a time, we are working to make the energy world more sustainable. At the same time, each of our global energy investments – currently more than 45 assets in 17 countries – contributes to shaping the energy system’s future.

Even as we navigate unprecedented and sometimes scary times, we cannot give up the hunt for innovation and improvements to our energy supply. Seldom do necessity and opportunity stand so close together. As Churchill once famously said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

For us, sustainability means more than just removing carbon from energy systems – although of course many of our investments do. According to a 2021 study by the consultancy Energie Zukunft Schweiz AG, investments made by Energy Infrastructure create three times more renewable energy globally than any other Swiss investor, including the largest utilities.

Sustainability for us also has to include security. In the wake of the war in Ukraine, we have seen how vulnerable the current energy mix is.

Alternatives for future generations

Germany at present has no other option than to continue buying gas from Russia and, by extension, funding the invasion of a sovereign country. We believe the world and the next generation deserve better. At Energy Infrastructure Partners, we invest to not only add security of supply but to create sovereign security of supply.

We are not against trade and globalization, but we see evidence every day that self-reliance and self-determination are the safest ways to a secure energy supply. In concrete terms, this means building out renewable energy sources in order to capture the natural resources available: hydropower where there are mountains; wind where there are plains and sea; and photovoltaic where there is sun and desert.

Putting aside climate change for a moment, there is no better way to increase supply security than by adding more local and abundant energy sources to a country’s mix.

More and more, it’s the obvious choice economically as well. According to the investment bank Lazard’s most recent Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis, renewable energy sources are also increasingly competitive against classic sources like coal, nuclear and gas in terms of cost.

Even in Switzerland, where the previous generation had the forethought to invest in our mighty hydropower plants, we are facing a shortfall: Our electricity needs are growing and we are taking nuclear power plants offline. According to a study commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, or SFOE, electricity imports will continue to increase until 2050. The SFOE also states that, on average, we already import up to 10% of the electricity consumed in Switzerland annually.

Ultimately, the investment approach is crucial

Given the state of our export partners – France is dealing with unexpected and unprecedented maintenance issues across its fleet of nuclear power plants – this strategy isn’t sustainable. The only way out is to significantly invest in Swiss energy infrastructure.

This investment approach is crucial to ensure and further promote sustainability.

In Switzerland, our original and still largest market, we manage investment portfolios for millions of pensioners in system-critical energy infrastructure: Examples of this are Switzerland’s power grid and some of the biggest hydropower plants across the Alps. Without this infrastructure, the Swiss economy doesn’t run.

And when we achieve a return from our investments, which run for decades, it goes to fund the pensions of Swiss workers. At Energy Infrastructure Partners, this is what we mean when we think of sustainability. The Swiss population invests in its own energy infrastructure, securing its security of supply and benefitting from long-term returns.

We see this end-to-end approach to sustainable investing – sustainability in security, economics and protecting the prosperity of future generations – as something that partners, investors and governments across the world can get behind.

Today’s children and grandchildren are counting on us.

Mr. Dörig is founder and Managing Partner and Mr. Goetz is the Global Head of Client Solutions of Energy Infrastructure Partners in Zurich.

Energy Infrastructure Partners and Crédit Agricole Assurances acquire 25% of Repsol Renovables

Madrid, June 9, 2022 – Crédit Agricole Assurances, the first bank insurance group in Europe, and Energy Infrastructure Partners (EIP), a leading investor in the energy transition, announce the signing of an agreement with Repsol S.A. for the acquisition of a stake of 25% in Repsol Renovables, the Repsol S.A. subsidiary relating to renewable energy, at an implied enterprise value of €4.4bn.

Repsol Renovables has a current installed renewable generation base of 1.6 GW comprised of a mix of wind farms, solar assets and hydropower plants across Spain, Chile and the United States. Alongside Crédit Agricole Assurances and EIP, Repsol will pursue a strategic plan to increase its total installed capacity before the end of the decade, to reach 20 GW by 2030.

The consortium of funds managed by Crédit Agricole Assurances and EIP will hold 25% of Repsol Renovables following the final close, which is set to occur in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.

Philippe Dumont, Crédit Agricole Assurances CEO, said, “Fully in line with Crédit Agricole Group’s commitments in favor of the climate, Crédit Agricole Assurances is actively contributing to a low-carbon economy through its investments in the energy transition. This investment alongside Repsol and EIP is a new step, contributing to reach our objective of 14 GW of installed capacity by 2025.”

“We are pleased to provide our investors with the opportunity to participate in a renewables platform of this size and caliber,” commented EIP Managing Partner, Roland Dörig. “Working together with Repsol will support us in realizing our ambitious growth plans and further expanding EIP’s footprint in the Americas,” added EIP Co-Head of Investments, Peter Schümers.

With nearly 100 years of history, Repsol has leveraged its scale as a vertically integrated, publicly traded oil and gas major with a market capitalization above €20 billion to transform itself into a leader in the renewable energy and decarbonization movement in Europe and North America.

New markets, new technologies and new corners of the energy infrastructure economy

The platform benefits economically from power purchase agreements with blue-chip companies like Microsoft and Amazon. These long-term sales contracts provide the business with protection from volatility in the power markets.

Following the transaction, Crédit Agricole Assurances and EIP plan to support the platform’s further diversification. These plans include entering new markets and incorporating complementary technologies like offshore wind.

Headquartered in Madrid, Repsol is present in more than 30 countries. The company has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

The consortium was advised by Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank and Greenhill & Co. (M&A), and Herbert Smith Freehills and Linklaters (legal).

Crédit Agricole Assurances
Crédit Agricole Assurances, France’s largest insurance Group, unites together Crédit Agricole’s insurance subsidiaries. The Group offers a range of savings, retirement, health, personal protection and property insurance products and services. They are distributed by the Crédit Agricole’s banks in France and in eight other countries around the world by financial advisers and multi-line insurance agents. The Crédit Agricole Assurances companies serve individuals, professionals, farmers and businesses. Crédit Agricole Assurances has 5,300 employees. Its premium income at the end of 2021 amounted to €36.5 billion (IFRS).
www.ca-assurances.com

Press contact
Françoise Bololanik + 33 (0)1 57 72 46 83 / 06 25 13 73 98
[email protected]

Energy Infrastructure Partners AG
Energy Infrastructure Partners AG is a Switzerland-based manager of collective assets focused on high quality, large-scale renewables and system-critical energy infrastructure assets. With over CHF 4 billion under management, EIP leverages an extensive industry network, broad transaction experience and close partnerships with energy suppliers and the public sector in order to develop and manage investment solutions for institutional investors globally. These clients, primarily pension funds, insurances and large family offices, seek investments in long-term, visible cash flow-generating assets that also contribute to security of energy supply, positive economic, ecological and social development, and the retirement provision of the population.

Press contact
Dr. Anna Sexton + 41 (0) 58 330 61 33
[email protected]

Energy Infrastructure Partners and RWE Renewables inaugurate 475 MW onshore project Nysäter Wind in northern Sweden

Zurich, June 9, 2022 – The inauguration of Nysäter Wind marks a significant contribution to the energy transition and security of European energy supply during a year that has shown these topics are more important than ever.

Today, northern Sweden’s Nysäter Wind will be inaugurated by Energy Infrastructure Partners, or EIP, and RWE Renewables, developer and minority co-shareholder of the project, which began construction in 2018. Nysäter Wind is majority-owned by funds managed by EIP and consists of 114 turbines with a combined output of approximately 1.7 terawatt hours of electricity per year. This is enough to supply the equivalent of over 300,000 Swedish homes with electricity, making it one of Europe’s largest onshore wind farms. The project also features a landmark offtake agreement with a blue-chip energy company. This power purchase agreement will run for 15 years and is one of the largest of its kind on record.

“The importance of securing energy supply and reducing reliance on traditional means of generation in Europe is paramount,” commented Roland Dörig, EIP Managing Partner. “We are proud of this accomplishment, made on behalf of our clients, who are supporting the vision of a fossil-free future with their investment.”

Sweden aims to meet 100% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2040, which will require continued large-scale investment in renewable technologies. Nysäter Wind supports the achievement of these climate targets by harnessing the excellent wind resource along the coastal area of northern Sweden, feeding the energy produced into the electricity grid.

“Successfully erecting 114 turbines is no small feat,” said Tobias Griesshaber, EIP Co-Head of Investments. “Considering all the phases of such a large project, and especially given the Covid-19 pandemic and related supply-chain issues, as well as the thousands of people who have been involved across all project stages, the result truly is a testament to the might of what we can accomplish when we work together.”

The inauguration will be attended by representatives of the Swedish government, media, industry and other areas of business. Prior to cutting the ribbon, there will also be a panel discussion about Sweden’s management of the climate transition, the significance of successful lighthouse projects like Nysäter Wind, and tackling increasing demand of electricity. The official event will be followed by a celebration open to members of the public, including entertainment, food and an exhibition enabling guests to visit and learn about the wind farm.

Please direct enquiries to [email protected]

Energy Infrastructure Partners AG
Energy Infrastructure Partners AG (EIP) is a Switzerland-based manager of collective assets focused on high quality, large-scale renewables and system-critical energy infrastructure assets. With over CHF 4 billion under management, EIP leverages an extensive industry network, broad transaction experience and close partnerships with energy suppliers and the public sector in order to develop and manage investment solutions for institutional investors globally. These clients, primarily pension funds, insurances and large family offices, seek investments in long-term, visible cash flow-generating assets that also contribute to security of energy supply, positive economic, ecological and social development, and the retirement provision of the population.