Just days after President George W. Bush announced the U.S. would invest more in R&D for renewable energy technologies, one of the world’s largest investment firms, the Carlyle Group, said it would substantially boost its stake in renewables. Coincidentally, former President George H. W. Bush was a special consultant to the Carlyle Group for 10 years before his retirement two years ago.
Carlyle eyes renewable energy, predicts IPOs
Reuters News Service, Feb. 22, 2006
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The Carlyle Group is set to boost its investment in the renewable energy sector as demand from U.S. state entities is rising, the firm’s founder and managing director, David Rubenstein, said on Wednesday.
“We intend to be much more active in the wind, power, solar energy, biomass and geothermal areas,” Rubenstein said.
“We think it’s an extremely attractive area in which to invest, particularly because many states in the U.S. now require that utilities buy a certain percentage of their energy from solar, biomass, geothermal or wind power sources,” he told Reuters at a private equity conference in Frankfurt where he also predicted that some buyout firms would go public within the next several years.
To meet the energy demand, Carlyle, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, is raising a fund that will invest in renewable energy infrastructure, sources familiar with the matter said.
Carlyle declined to comment on the fund. Rubenstein did, however, say the firm was set to launch a hedge fund within the next several weeks after announcing the move last year.
Soaring oil prices have prompted state and federal governments to explore alternative sources.
U.S. President George Bush in his State of the Union address outlined details of a federal initiative to provide a 22 percent increase in clean-energy research. The U.S. government’s 2007 budget includes $44 million for wind energy research, a $5 million increase from the year before.