Japan’s recent trend of investments seems to be buying foreign renewable energy projects that offer long term solutions and good return on investment.
According to KPMG, an accounting company, China and Japan will be major players in the future of the renewable energy sector, especially acquisitions and mergers. Asian investments in clean energy companies rose by about 50% in 2011, creating 29 acquisitions worth $2.1 billion US dollars.
For example, Japan’s major industrial conglomerate Mitsubishi bought assets in Germany, Mexico, and Great Britain. They have, for example, recently announced a new acquisition plans of the North Sea offshore wind transmission project in Germany, a plan that will cost the Japanese investors $318 million.
A senior vice president of Mitsubishi, Hiroshi Sakuma, announced that the company is mostly interested energy projects and infrastructure projects since those bring the company a steady income.
China’s motivation to buy alternative energy projects is a little bit different than Japan’s. Their main motivation to buy companies within the renewable energy sector is mostly to expand the reach of the Chinese equipment manufacturers.
According to a KPMG’s Head of Energy and Natural Resources, Andy Cox, the Chinese investment is mostly backed by their equipment manufacturers wanting to deploy their competitive technology into new markets.
For example, China’s LDK Solar has recently acquired 33% of a German company producing solar photovoltaic components. Last year, The China Datang Renewable Power Co and Baoding Tianwei Baobian Electric Co (solar equipment company), have partnered up with CBD Energy to create new wind and solar plants worth $3 billion US dollars. CBD Energy is a company based in Sydney.
Australia is very keen on foreign investments into their energy sector. As their national leader of renewable energy Mathew Herring underlined, Australia’s proximity and good relations with Asian neighbours should be utilized to obtain more renewable energy investments from these countries. He also mentioned that Australia needs to take advantage of this new investment boom.
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