New AIC & PitchBook Report: Private Equity Investment in Renewable Energy Rose Four-Fold to Nearly $24 Billion in 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Investment Council and PitchBook today released a new report, “The Renewables Revolution,” detailing how the private equity industry is expanding its clean energy footprint. The report includes data showing that private equity investment in renewable energy surged to $23.7 billion in 2020, up from roughly $5 billion in 2019. The report also shows that private equity has invested over $100 billion in renewable energy since 2010.

“Investments in renewable fields like solar, wind, and battery technologies will power the economy and jobs of the future,” said Drew Maloney, President and CEO of the American Investment Council. “Private equity firms are a major source of funding for sustainable energy companies and green jobs nationwide.The industry is playing a critical role in mitigating the growing effects of climate change and is proud to support thousands of renewable energy companies nationwide that are creating strong jobs and helping the country reduce our carbon footprint.”

Despite the impacts of the pandemic, private equity investments in solar energy totaled $5.5 billion in 2020, a record high. Since 2010, private equity has invested almost $13.5 billion in solar energy. Private equity investment in wind energy also rose to $13.4 billion in 2020, more than the previous ten years combined.

Private equity firms are also investing heavily in battery storage technology, a crucial element of the long-term viability of renewable energy. Across the board, private equity firms are taking risks on promising projects that could revolutionize the future of renewable energy and help reduce global carbon emissions.

The new AIC report offers examples of recent private equity investments in renewable energy, including:

  • The Carlyle Group invested $100 million in Alchemy Renewable Energy in January 2020, helping them develop and operate solar power generation projects across the country. Alchemy Renewable Energy currently operates 38 renewable energy projects across eight states.
  • In August 2020, Apollo Global Management invested $265 million to finance an offshore wind farm off the coast of Maryland, which will help power 75,000 homes with sustainable energy when it comes online in 2024.

The report also detailed industry initiatives to reduce emissions and increase sustainability. For example, Blackstone committed to reducing carbon emissions by 15% in the first three years of buying a new portfolio company. Blackstone’s commitment builds on past success, helping portfolio companies like Hilton Hotels reduce carbon emissions by 30% and Cosmopolitan Hotel reduce energy consumption by 18%.