* Bluefield Solar Income Fund to list on July 12
* Expects to increase volume to 300-400 mln pounds
By Christoph Steitz
FRANKFURT, June 25 Asset management firm
Bluefield Partners is betting that the solar industry has the
potential to grow in Britain, while taking a beating elsewhere
in Europe, benefiting from favourable laws and a relatively
Bluefield, which specialises in buying and managing energy
and infrastructure assets, plans to list the Bluefield Solar
Income Fund on the London Stock Exchange on July 12
to raise up to 150 million pounds ($231 million) for the
acquisition of solar plants in Britain.
"The UK is in its infancy compared to markets like Germany
or Italy," James Armstrong, managing partner at Bluefield, said
"We're just going into a market that has significant growth
According to figures by European solar industry association
EPIA, Britain's cumulative solar installations more than doubled
in 2012 to 1.83 gigawatts (GW).
This compared with 32.4 GW in Germany and 16.4 GW in Italy,
where lavish incentives for solar power have led to soaring
installations over the past few years.
Demand in these markets is expected to drop sharply this
year, however, as governments reduce the incentives and make
investment in solar power less rewarding.
Armstrong pointed to favourable legislation in Britain,
which said in its updated renewable energy roadmap in late 2012
that its solar market had the potential for up to 20 GW by 2020.
Bluefield's fund aims to invest the proceeds from the
initial public offering (IPO) within 12 months to buy solar
plants that it expects will provide stable annual levels of
power generation with low operational costs.
Armstrong said he expected the fund to grow to about 300
million to 400 million pounds in assets over the next two to
Bluefield has clinched deals with British power companies
including British Gas Solar, the solar contracting unit of
Centrica, for exclusive access to solar projects until
The Bluefield fund will finance solar projects but not build
them, reducing its operational risk.
Armstrong did not want to disclose plans for concrete
investments after the IPO, saying only: "We have a deep and