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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Energy Transition

The global shift from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy

The energy transition is shaping the global economy. The transition to a low carbon economy requires a massive and increased rate of investment from both the public and private sectors across many different technologies and sectors.

Growth is needed in renewable energy, energy efficiency and storage, the electrification of energy-intensive industries, transportation and heating, and the development of green fuels – both biofuels and e-fuels derived from clean hydrogen. Not all emissions can be avoided, and effective ways are needed to reduce and eventually eliminate the greenhouse gas emissions of oil and gas operations, such as carbon capture and storage at scale and direct air capture, to achieve net zero and limit climate change. Meeting the increasing demand for battery metals is integral to the energy transition. Digitisation, including the integration of digital technologies into infrastructure assets, will continue to play an important role in facilitating the energy transition and maximising efficiency and long-term sustainability.

We advise clients on the full breadth of energy transition-related matters, ranging from project development, construction and financing, to M&A and joint ventures, as well as providing detailed regulatory and tax advice. We are also well-positioned to advise and represent multinational clients in cross-border litigation, international arbitration, investigations and risk mitigation.

Across the globe, our lawyers are routinely involved in many first-of-a-kind and award-winning transactions as we support our clients in their energy transition journey, across onshore and offshore wind, floating offshore wind, solar, carbon capture, clean hydrogen, battery storage, EV charging, grids, interconnection, carbon trading, digital infrastructure and new nuclear.

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Report: Energy Transition Trends 2024

The energy transition requires a massive and increased rate of investment from both the public and the private sectors. Here we explore some trends which will shape the year ahead, focusing on the innovations and legal developments that we are seeing in clean hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, green fuels, carbon pricing, digital transformation, innovative finance and incentives to mobilise capital.

Find out more

Event: Unveiling the Trends: The Energy Transition in Asia Pacific

The theme for this year’s conference is Unveiling the Trends: The Energy Transition in Asia Pacific. The programme will explore the investment trends and technologies that will drive the energy transition in Asia Pacific including offshore wind, gas and other transitional fuels, energy storage including batteries, hydrogen, CCS, critical minerals and digital infrastructure, and identify investment opportunities for private capital to make this journey possible.


Recent client highlights

  • Hai Long Offshore Wind Farm, Taiwan: advised ECAs and lenders on the financing of the construction and operation of the 1,022MW Hai Long offshore wind farm project in Taiwan. Asia Pacific Offshore Wind Deal of the Year 2023, PFI Awards
  • Climeworks, Iceland: advised Climeworks on the financing and development of the Orca CO2 direct air capture (DAC) project in Iceland
  • Nigeria SMR: advised a developer on an SMR project in Nigeria, including Government support arrangements, regulatory requirements, procurement, construction, equity arrangements and financing. This will be the first nuclear power project in Nigeria
  • ExxonMobil CCS, Louisiana: advised ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions on its carbon capture and storage agreement with Nucor Corporation, one of North America's largest steel producers. Under the agreement, XOM will capture, transport and store up to 800,000 metric tons per year of CO2 from Nucor's manufacturing site in Convent, Louisiana*
  • Advanced Clean Energy Storage Project, US: advised the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office on a $504.4 million loan guarantee to the Advanced Clean Energy Storage Project, which will be the largest clean hydrogen storage facility in the world. Net-Zero Transition award, IFLR Americas 2023
  • NEOM Green Hydrogen Project, Saudi Arabia: advised the National Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia in relation to senior and subordinated financing tranches to the NEOM Green Hydrogen Company. The NEOM Green Hydrogen Project is the world’s largest utility scale, commercially-based hydrogen facility powered entirely by renewable energy. Project Finance Deal of the Year 2023, IFLR Middle East Awards
  • Lekela Power: advised Actis and Mainstream on the sale of Lekela Power to a joint venture between the Infinity Group and Africa Finance Corporation – Africa’s biggest renewable energy deal. Africa Renewables Acquisition Deal of the Year 2023, IJInvestor Award
  • Northern Lights CCS, North Sea: advising on the Northern Lights CCS project in northern Europe
  • Zenobe, UK: advised KKR on its c.US$750m investment in Zenobe a global market leader in electrification-as-a-service solutions for fleets, and battery storage solutions for grid network infrastructure. Global Investor Deal of the Year 2023, PFI Awards
  • CWP Renewables, Australia: advised Partners Group on its sale of CWP Renewables, a vertically integrated renewable energy platform in Australia, to Squadron Wind Energy Assets; Australia’s largest renewable energy deal to-date. Asia Pacific Acquisition Deal of the Year 2023, PFI Awards; APAC Renewables Acquisition Deal of the Year 2023, IJInvestor Awards
  • Future Biogas, UK: advised Ensus Limited on plans to be a leading provider of Bioethanol fuel in Europe by the building of a bioethanol plant in the North of England. European Renewables (Biofuels) Deal of the Year 2007, PFI Awards
  • Sustainable Aviation Fuel Project, US: advising lenders in relation to a USD 1.3bn commercial-scale sustainable aviation fuel plant to be developed in the United States of America, which will also produce renewable diesel and renewable naphtha and high-protein animal feed products
  • Abydos Solar Project, Egypt: advised AMEA Power in relation to its 500MW solar PV plant. ESG Deal of the Year 2022, PFI Awards; MENA Renewables Solar Deal of the Year 2022, IJGlobal Awards
  • H2 green steel, Sweden: advised the second lien lenders on the financing of a multi-billion dollar green steel project in Sweden comprising the production of green hydrogen and rolled green steel produced using H2-enabled DRI iron. Europe Sustainability Deal of the Year, PFI Awards 2023
  • EdgeConnex, Europe: advised the underwriters and senior lenders on the sustainability-linked €2.4 billion portfolio (re)financing of European data centres owned and operated by EdgeConneX, the EQT-owned edge-network data centre developer. This transaction is said to constitute Europe’s first sustainability-linked data centre platform financing. Global Digital Deal of the Year 2023, PFI Awards
  • Gridserve, UK: advised Infracapital on its 35% investment in Gridserve, a UK EV charging business that installs and runs EV charging stations on motorway petrol station forecourts. Europe EV Deal of the Year 2023, PFI Awards
  • Zarafshon wind project, Uzbekistan: advised Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, First Abu Dhabi Bank, International Finance Corporation and Natixis as lenders on a 500 MW Zarafshon wind power project in Uzbekistan. ESG Wind APAC Deal of the Year 2023, IJGlobal Awards

  • Hollandse Kust Zuid, Netherlands: advised Vattenfall on the structuring of the 1.5GW offshore wind farm, and on the sale of 49.5% of the facility to BASF. Once fully commissioned, it will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world. European Renewable Energy ESG Award 2022, IJGlobal Awards; European Offshore Wind Deal of the Year 2022, PFI Awards
  • Carbon offsetting agreements: advised easyJet on carbon offsetting agreements in relation to its commitment to offset the carbon from all of domestic and international flights
  • EolMed floating offshore wind, France: advised lenders on the financing of the Eolmed pilot floating offshore wind farm. European Renewable Energy Deal of the Year 2022, IJGlobal Awards; Europe Renewable Energy Offshore Wind Deal of the Year 2022, IJGlobal Awards
  • Amunet Wind Project, Egypt: advised AMEA Power in relation to its 500MW wind farm. ESG Wind MENA Deal of the Year 2023, IJGlobal ESG Awards; MENA Renewables Export Finance Deal of the Year 2022, IJGlobal Awards
  • Hornsea 2, UK: advised a consortium of AXA IM Alts and Crédit Agricole Assurances on the £3 billion acquisition of a 50% stake in the 1.3 GW Hornsea 2 offshore wind farm, now the world’s largest wind farm. Global M&A Deal of the Year 2022, PFI Awards
  • Green fuels complex, Uruguay: advising lenders on a large sustainable aviation fuel complex in Uruguay, producing fuel from tallow and re-esterified cooking oils. The complex also features a hydrogen production unit
  • Sizewell C, UK: advising Sizewell GenCo on the structuring and financing of a new nuclear power project in the UK, with a view to attracting private investors (infrastructure funds, pension funds and alternative debt providers) to the new project
  • Carbon offset project loan: Advised Asian Development Bank on the US$6.5 million financing of Greenway Grameen Infra's carbon offset project in India, involving the production and distribution of one million improved cookstoves to rural households in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha states

* Matter completed by Jonathan Castelan at a previous firm.

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