Interview with Dario Gallanti with Il Pianeta Terra
Our Partner in the Italian market Dario Gallanti is also the Co-Head of the Energy Market Taskforce at ANEV, the Italian wind association. He answered the questions from the Italian magazine Il Pianeta Terra which can be found here.
We reproduce the interview in English herebelow:
What does Our New Energy offer?
At Our New Energy (ONE) we assist our diverse client groups, such as generators, investors, off-takers and banks in taking advantage of the new possibilities in a post-subsidy energy market whilst also helping overcome the myriad of challenges brought on by a completely new field. Through our significant market presence, we have taken part in transactions and closed PPAs totalling more than 2.5 GW. Combining our transaction experience with many years in different parts of the energy industry gives us unparalleled insights into all aspects of PPA origination and negotiation allowing us to find innovative solutions, compromises and deliver a high degree of transaction security.
The topic of PPAs is getting more and more attention. Can you give us your view on such topic?
At ONE we have assisted the first market parity PPAs being signed in several EU countries, from Portugal to Italy, including the first direct corporate PPA in Southern Europe between a renewable generator and an industrial player, this giving us a privileged point of view on this much talked topic. As of today, in many countries across the world, PPAs are now only a viable tool to allow for the continued build-out of renewable energy. More and more countries are abandoning previous subsidy schemes and are expecting the market to find new solutions. Due to the high degree of success other countries maintaining expensive subsidy schemes are more likely to question the logic in distorting a market at cost whilst not necessarily achieving a better outcome then neighboring countries with less regulation.
Most people will agree that renewables build out is necessary and everyone can agree on that this should be with as little cost as possible for consumers and industry. PPAs are currently fulfilling both requirements perfectly so naturally the PPAs will only grow in volume and influence over time.
PPAs “make sense” and are a logical and “beautiful” answer to the energy transition. They make sense for investors, which can secure the benefit of good returns by mitigating the risk through a tailor-made risk selection which allows them to extend their leverage capacities. They indeed also make sense for banks who are attracted by projects with low regulatory requirements and with a relatively low operation and technological risk. They also make sense to utilities, which find a new business possibility as intermediaries, as well corporates who can access stabilize the market price and access to a more competitive supply cost.
Last but not least, they make sense to the entire community… as the investment in green energy is allowed without any direct cost for the tax/energy bill payers.
Over 2,5 GW of assisted market parity deals correspond to over 2 billion euros invested in energy transition. How has the investment approach of different players evolved from your first deal in 2017?
From a technology level we can say that -while the market parity trend in Europe started from solar in the Iberian Peninsula – it has since rapidly spread across different countries and different technologies. As a matter of fact, at ONE we currently equally assist solar market parity investments in Denmark, as much as wind market parity ones in the Balkans as well as solar PV in Cyprus.
Compared to when we first started our activities, in several countries where we operate, the tough part in assisting the project is not to “just” to find off-takers. We currently count a plethora of possible energy buyers, from well-known vertical integrated utilities to innovative corporates which are interested in securing long term energy purchase. What is really different today is that each off-taker focuses its appetite on a specific type of product, this narrowing the number of “good PPAs” for each player to only a few.
Another market improvement concerns the bankability of such projects. Banks have come a long way from the subsidized market in many EU countries and the more they started to understand the market parity space, the more their appetite for financing has grown. On this topic, the market has quickly learnt how the bankability does not depend directly from the credit worthiness of the off-taker, yet is directly linked to the content of the PPA.
Similarly, to the off-taking side, also on the investment side we see more and more new types of players coming to the market with large commitments, such as sovereign and pension funds, and several characterized by a low cost of capital. Throughout the last years several investors have realized how their main differentiation factor does not sit on the cost side – which apart for connection costs and some economies of scale are very similar among all players – yet on the revenue side.
This is why long term PPAs remain a hyper customized product and we do not expect this to change in the medium term. A PPA is like an insurance and not all market participants need the same insurance. You need to know your risk profile, and understand the risk that you are keeping and how to manage it.