Renewables News

Consultation on the draft Electricity Market Reform (EMR) delivery plan

29 Jul 2013

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have provided further details about the EMR delivery plan.

Forestry News

Returns on US timberland hit highest since 2008

27 Jul 2013

Returns on US forestry hit their highest since the global economic crisis, and are poised for further gains, despite setbacks to hopes for housebuilding, a key destination for lumber.

Forestry News

Timber prices remain resilient since start of year

24 Jul 2013

Swedish exports of sawn softwood in January 2013 to April 2013 were down 9.1% to 3.8 million cubic metres. Exports to China were up 208% to 111,000 cubic metres.

Renewables News

Latest announcements on Energy Market Reform (EMR)

8 Jul 2013

FIM welcomes the recent Electricity Market Reform (EMR) announcements, which confirms the Government’s commitment to renewables and low carbon generation. The announcement outlines how the Contracts for Difference (CfDs) will provide predictable revenue streams that will encourage investment by reducing risks to investors. The Government has three objectives for energy policy - to keep the lights on, to keep energy bills affordable, and to decarbonise energy generation. To achieve these, the Government intends to reform the electricity market. EMR is the biggest change to the electricity market since privatisation and will transform the UK’s electricity sector. The main elements of EMR are Contracts for Difference and the Capacity Market. The objective of the CfDs are to stimulate investment in low-carbon technologies (including renewables, nuclear and carbon capture storage) by providing predictable revenue streams that will encourage investment by reducing risks to investors. A key feature of the CfDs is the strike price, the Government has published the draft strike prices for a range of renewables technologies (including onshore wind generation and solar). The draft strike prices are roughly in line with support under the Renewable Obligation (RO) in the early years with value dropping in later years; uncertainty also remains about market access discounts. The other key difference is the CfDs duration at 15 years is shorter than the RO. The exact terms of the CfDs remain outstanding with a further publication expected next month. However, encouragingly the Government has been working with the industry and some of the clauses have been amended successfully e.g. there will be no refinancing clauses in the CfDs. FIM still believes that the current ROC regime is attractive and allows investors to take advantage of the predicted increase in electricity prices. RenewableUK believe the publication of the draft strike prices for the technologies it represents is an important step in building industry confidence.

Forestry News

Global softwood markets on the rise

2 Jul 2013

Whilst demand for softwood continues to be weak across most European markets, softwood shippers are taking comfort in the improving prospects seen outside of Europe, where demand is high and margins even higher.

Fund News

FCA changes to UCIS marketing

2 Jul 2013

The marketing of Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes (“UCIS”) will be restricted to sophisticated investors or high net worth individuals. In FIM’s view the new restrictions on the marketing of UCIS products to ordinary retail investors is good news for the financial services industry as it clarifies what was previously a grey area.

Renewables News

FIM Services targets £20m for UK solar fund

25 Jun 2013

FIM Services, a UK investment manager active in sustainable forestry and renewable energy, told NewNet it has until 20 December to hit its £20m target for a newly-launched solar fund.

Renewables News

FIM advises John Laing on acquisition of wind farm

14 Jun 2013

“FIM Services Limited, which provides specialist investment products and services in relation to sustainable forestry and renewable energy in the UK, is pleased to have advised John Laing on the acquisition of Carscreugh Wind Farm, once completed the project will have a capacity of 15.3 MW. Chris Shead, Director and Head of Renewables at FIM Services Limited, commented “we are delighted to have worked with John Laing on the acquisition of Carscreugh Wind Farm and look forward to working with them on the construction and operation of this project”. FIM services has now be involved in the acquisition, and subsequent construction and operation, of eight UK onshore wind farms with a total capacity of over 75 MW

Forestry News

The US housing market is having a positive effect on timber

14 Jun 2013

Investing in timber will never be a mainstream choice, but Pictet fund manager Gabriel Micheli says the soft commodity can provide an excellent source of growth.

Renewables News

John Laing acquires Gamesa's Carscreugh wind farm site

13 Jun 2013

RENEWABLE energy technology firm Gamesa has sold a wind farm site in Scotland to infrastructure investor John Laing for an undisclosed sum.

Forestry News

Biomass Power plants need not cause significant land-use tensions

31 May 2013

The use of biomass to produce electricity need not cause significant land-use tensions and government should look to support the development of this type of power generation with carbon capture and storage (CCS), according to a new policy statement by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Forestry News

Returns from forestry investments outperform bonds, equities and real estate

25 May 2013

Investments in the UK’s forestry assets have hit new highs, with three-year returns rising to 23.9 per cent in 2012. This equates to a minimum outperformance of 14 per cent against bonds (9.9 per cent), equities (6.7 per cent) and commercial property (8.7 per cent).

Forestry News

Drax AGM targeted over biomass conversion plans

25 Apr 2013

50 people took part yesterday in a demonstration and rally outside the annual general meeting of Drax Plc, at the Grocers’ Hall in London, organised by Biofuelwatch and supported by 16 other groups. The protest opposed Drax power station’s plans to convert half of its generating capacity to biomass, and highlighted the impacts that this will have in terms of increased deforestation, land-grabbing and carbon emissions.

Forestry News

Private sector emerges as key potential funder of sustainable forest management

17 Apr 2013

As countries around the world struggle to find the necessary funds to sustainably manage their forests, the private sector is emerging as a key source of financing that, if tapped properly, could result in benefits for the environment along with profits for businesses.

Forestry News

BSW opens new sawmill at Fort William site

10 Apr 2013

BSW Timber has started to process timber logs at its new Fort William sawmill which has undergone a four year £37m expansion programme. The new mill will have the capacity to produce an additional 300,000 m3 of sawn timber annually when it becomes fully operational later in 2013, making total potential output at Fort William 400,000 m3 of sawn timber per annum. The investment will make it one of the most advanced sawmills in the UK, including 2 x 5MW biomass kiln heating plants and a high speed planing and grading line. The expansion of the Fort William site is excellent news for the timber industry and in particular the location of the site will strengthen the demand for timber in North and West Scotland which will benefit forest owners in the area with the potential for stronger timber prices and a corresponding uplift in plantation values. This forms a major part of BSW’s £50m five year investment programme, which has 6 sawmills in the UK. BSW’s CEO says that this is a sign of the confidence they have in the UK market.

Forestry News

Chinese'must swap chopsticks for knife and fork'

13 Mar 2013

It is a battle that has divided East and West for centuries: Are chopsticks superior to the knife and fork? Now the debate may finally be decided, on environmental grounds.