When the wind is blowing and the sun is shining

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The FINANCIAL — Allianz invests not only in equities, government bonds and real estate, but also in forms of investments that can prove to be profitable in both stormy and sunny times.The company stepped up its investments in this sector last year, putting just shy of a quarter of a billion euros into wind and solar energy facilities, according to Allianz.


Renewable energy – both the wind and the solar energy sectors are flourishing across the globe as the demand for alternative forms of energy continues to rise, a trend that had emerged even before the events in Fukushima.

As a result, Allianz Specialised Investments successfully forged ahead with its investment strategy in 2011, too, investing 250 million euros in European wind and solar farms. ASI is also considering making its first investments in German off-shore wind farms, provided that the right balance can be struck between returns and the long-term risks.

"Investments in renewable energy forms are an important alternative to other areas of investment for Allianz", said David Jones, CEO of Allianz Specialised Investments. "The returns are often higher than with bonds or other securities and, most importantly, the results are independent of any volatility on the capital markets. Especially when the climate on the markets is stormy, this can make a key contribution to successful investment portfolio management."

Political developments are also giving the renewable energy sector a boost in general. Germany, for example, is planning to have abandoned nuclear energy completely by 2022, with many other countries toeing a similar policy line. This means that, first of all, these countries will have to be able to cover growing demand for energy while, secondly, the pressure to move over to environmentally friendly energy sources is mounting among the public at large.ASI's success story in this investment sector began 6 years ago, with Allianz's total investments in renewable energy exceeding the one billion euros mark only one year ago. This volume has now been increased by almost 25 percent within the space of the last 12 months.

2011 saw David Jones and his team commit to finance five wind farms in Europe with a total energy output of 54 megawatts – which corresponds to the energy required by around 30,000 households.

Allianz Specialised Investments worked particularly hard on expanding its investments in solar energy in 2011, adding four solar parks to its portfolio. For the first time since it broadened its investment strategy to include the solar energy sector in 2010, ASI invested more capital in solar than wind, taking its solar portfolio to 74 megawatts of installed capacity.

David Jones believes that there is further growth potential waiting to be tapped into: "We are currently focusing our renewable energy investment efforts on Germany and France. We are, however, also keeping an eye on the market in other eurozone countries and will consider making investments in these markets as soon as market conditions allow and promising opportunities arise", he said.

He and his team are certain that the demand for wind and solar energy will continue to rise in the future, which is why Allianz will be further expanding its investments in these sectors.



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