05 October 2021
GIG is committed to delivering commercial solutions for the rapid and large-scale deployment of new technologies that will deliver deep decarbonisation across all sectors of our economy.
IEA analysis suggests that by 2050, we need to be supplying almost half of total energy consumption from electricity to achieve net zero. This huge shift to electrification is already under way, led by the rapid deployment of renewable technologies, and now in the transformation of the transport sector. In June 2021, we launched our partnership with Heliox, creating one of the first ‘charging-as-a-service’ offerings for fleet electrification in Europe. By constructing and maintaining charging facilities on behalf of our customers, the service removes up-front costs, reducing one of the main barriers to fleet electrification.
With greater electrification, and a growing share of renewables in generation, comes a greater need for system flexibility through technologies like battery storage. In June 2021, we acquired our first utility-scale battery storage development portfolio. We’re now working to co-develop that portfolio of seven projects – strategically located across severely congested areas of the UK grid network – with partner Capbal.
Not all sectors can be electrified, and this is where hydrogen has a critical role to play. The IEA suggests the use of hydrogen will need to double over the course of this decade to meet net zero. To help meet this demand, we’re working to advance a number of projects with partners globally. This includes our work with SGN which is exploring the potential to create a hydrogen super-hub at the Port of Southampton – one of six major industrial clusters in the UK. As well as the hydrogen network, the feasibility study is exploring the addition of a carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) network to help further support the Port’s decarbonisation efforts.
Batteries, e-mobility, hydrogen and CCUS will continue to be some of the most important innovations driving the next phase of the energy transition. By applying our partnership and platform creation model to these emerging technologies, GIG is delivering the commercial solutions to accelerate their deployment. You can find out about our global platforms and partnerships in the impact and activity section of this report.
Macquarie Group is also a leader in global carbon markets, creating new products and investing to support the deployment of new technologies that enable the decarbonisation of our clients and portfolio companies. During the reporting period, Macquarie’s Commodities and Global Markets business was awarded Environmental Products Bank of the Year, created a new Global Carbon business, and our Asset Finance business has continued to grow its smart meter portfolio and is financing the deployment of hydrogen fuel cell electric trucks in North America. For the fifth year in a row Macquarie Capital was named the number one global finance advisor in renewable energy.
This approach is best illustrated through Cero Generation, our European solar development platform, launched in February 2021. Over the past three years, we partnered with developers across Europe to assemble an 8 GW development portfolio – one of the largest in Europe. To take that portfolio on the next stage of its journey, we created Cero as a specialist development business, with a team of 40 experts. Since its launch, Cero has formed a new partnership with EDF Renewables and Green Lighthouse Development in France, expanded into the Greek market through a partnership with WattCrop, and delivered its first Spanish projects into operations.
Cero follows in the footsteps of our specialist solar development platforms Blueleaf Energy in Asia Pacific and Savion LLC in North America, which have also seen continued growth throughout this year. Of particular note is Blueleaf's expansion into the emerging markets of India, with partner Vibrant Energy, and the Philippines with SunAsia, as well as its entry into Japan through the creation of Hinode Energy – a new joint venture with Univergy. In the US, Savion has been busy progressing its 14+ GW development pipeline and has signed new PPAs with Dominion Energy Vision, AEP Energy Partners and Target Corporation.
In October 2020, we also launched Calibrant Energy, a joint venture with Siemens. Calibrant offers onsite Energy-as-a-Service solutions to corporate, industrial and public sector clients to help them manage their energy transition. In May 2021, Calibrant completed the delivery of solar power systems at Eldorado Middle School in Illinois, US, which will provide around 90 per cent of the school’s electricity needs.
Our approach enables us to combine GIG's financial and technical experience, resources and global reach with the local expertise of our partners to create market-leading specialist development businesses. Looking forward, we expect to continue to replicate this model across different markets and technologies, delivering volume at a transformational scale and pace. You can read more about the activities of our development platforms and partnerships in the impact and activity section of this report.
In addition to GIG’s activities, other parts of Macquarie Group, often through managed funds, are extensively supporting the green transition. During the reporting period GIG partnered with Macquarie Asset Management to raise €1.6 billion for a new renewable energy fund. You can read more about that fund in the funds under management page of this report, or learn more about Macquarie’s wider activities.