BlackRock unit aims to boost Asian renewables to $5 billion


BlackRock Real Assets is aiming to boost its renewables power portfolio in Asia by as much as 10-fold as it seeks to keep pace with the world’s fastest-growing region for green energy.

The unit of New York-based BlackRock Inc. plans to raise invested capital in Asia-Pacific renewables to around $3 billion to $5 billion, from $500 million now, over the next three to five years, according to Charlie Reid, managing director and portfolio manager of the BlackRock Renewable Power investment team.

“Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing region for renewable deployment, so that’s the reason we’re making the commitment to the region,” Reid said in a phone interview.

The investments will see the capacity of its assets rise to 5 gigawatts from 750 megawatts over the period, according to Reid, with a focus on Australia, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

Asia has emerged as the top destination for renewable investments as expanding electricity demand, government support for clean energy and falling costs for green technology support projects that can create steady returns.

Taiwan is “highly attractive” for long-term investors due to regulatory stability, growth opportunities and appealing risk-adjusted return, Reid said. The company last month announced its second renewables investment on the island, where it currently owns over 190 megawatts of capacity across more than 40 projects with partners New Green Power Co.and J&V Energy Technology Co.

BlackRock Real Assets aims to build around 1 gigawatt of solar projects in the coming years in Taiwan, Reid said, and expects to see a solar deal with its partners in the next nine months. An investment in offshore wind is possible by end of 2020, he added.

It also plans to make its first investment in South Korea at end of this year or beginning of 2020, with a focus on solar and battery storage. The company’s current investments include 300 megawatts in Japan, 240 megawatts in Australia and 200 megawatts in Taiwan, Reid said.