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Top Ten Cleantech Initiatives of Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank, which translates to German Bank, is an international banking and financial services company. Headquarters are located in Frankfurt, Germany and the bank has a very large presence throughout Europe, North America, South America, Asia Pacific, as well as a number of emerging markets, in a number of major financial centers, including New York, Paris, London, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Dubai, and Sydney. In 2009, Deutsche Bank was listed as the largest foreign exchange dealer around the globe. Services at the bank, aside from financial services and products, include mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, retail banking, and wealth management. The bank is also very involved in a number of cleantech initiatives; here is a list of the top ten.

1 ) Deutsche Bank Named “Best Renewable Energy Finance House in Europe.” One company cannot have so many clean technology initiatives and not receive recognition for them. In 2012 Deutsche Bank was named “Best Renewable Energy Finance House in Europe” by the Environmental Finance and Carbon Finance magazines for a second year in a row. The award acknowledges the bank’s strong performance in its Asset Finance and Leasing (AFL) division. Projects included solar photovoltaic, wind, and biomass transactions throughout parts of Europe, the United States, Canada, and a few of the smaller, emerging markets. Earlier, Deutsche Bank was also recognized by Energy Risk Magazine’s 2011 Environmental Rankings and was also named by the magazine as “European Emissions House of the Year.”

2 ) DB NASDAQ OMX Cleantech Index. In 2010, DB Climate Change Advisors, the climate change investment and research arm of Deutsche Bank’s Asset Management division, and NASDAQ OMX group announced the creation of the DB NASDAQ OMX Cleantech Index, or DBCC for short. The index is “an accurate, real-time representation of the global clean technology sector with exposure to clean energy, energy efficiency, transport, waste management, and water companies.” This is the very first index for clean energy that is co-branded by a global bank and a global exchange company.“Climate change has already, and we believe will continue to deliver as an attractive source of alpha – which is one of the reasons why we saw the need to provide investors with a comprehensive, global and accurate benchmark for the sector,” said Kevin Parker, Global Head of Deutsche Bank’s Asset Management division and a member of Deutsche Bank’s Group Executive Committee. “Through this collaboration, we are able to offer investors an index that combines the best of DBCCA’s clean tech investment expertise and thought leadership with NASDAQ OMX’s globally trusted index design and calculation services.”

3 ) China Cleantech Fund. In May of 2011, Deutsche Bank opted to launch a new cleantech fund in China, in the coastal city of Tianjin. The Asset Management division of the bank is going to work with the management committee of the High-Tech Industrial Park in Tianjin to create a $500 million fund that will be utilized to provide funding to clean technology and clean energy companies throughout China. The primary focus will be on projects in the field of environmental resources management and clean energy.

4 ) Deutsche Bank Works with National Wind. In May of 2010 Deutsche Bank teamed up with National Wind LLC in the United States to close a senior secured financing facility for National Wind, a development company in Minnesota that works on community utility-scale wind energy projects. Deutsche Bank will aid in financing National Wind’s project portfolio, which is 13 projects creating more than 4,000 megawatts of energy.

5 ) Deutsche Bank Finances Two Photovoltaic Solar Parks. In August of 2011, Deutsche Bank announced their role in aiding the construction as well as acquisition of two high power photovoltaic solar parts in Spain and Italy through their Asset Finance and Leasing (AFL) division. In Italy, the bank provided €83 million in financing for the construction of the solar park. In Spain, the bank arranged debt financing in the amount of €53 million. Bernd Fislage, Global Head of Asset Finance & Leasing at Deutsche Bank: “We have long-term experience in the development of plants that harness renewable energies. The most recent transactions in Italy and Spain show that in addition to providing long-term project financing to our clients, we can also arrange innovative financial solutions, for example, when it comes to the financing of the construction phase.”

6 ) DESERTEC Project. Deutsche Bank is part of what is being touted as “one of the most promising energy projects in the future” – the DESERTEC Project. This initiative looks to aid in the development of a sustainable, reliable, and climate friendly energy supply from the deserts located in the Middle East and North Africa. Deutsche Bank is working along with twelve other shareholders to create a thorough analysis as well as establishment of a comprehensive framework for investments to supply this region as well as Europe with energy produced through the utilization of wind and solar sources. The long term objective is to satisfy a large part of the energy requirements in countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Europe.

7 ) Banking and Investment Opportunities. Deutsche Bank is helping investors and companies come to the realization that issues regarding climate change are not just moral, political, or social, but they are also economic and affect businesses. Deutsche Bank wants to aid companies in investing in clean technology business opportunities through a number of factors, including arrangement of bonds, private placements and IPOs, as well as creating markets in a variety of financial contracts, including interest rate swaps and commodities.

8 ) New Deutsche Bank Towers go Green. It is being listed as one of the greatest refurbishments a building has ever undertaken in Europe – Deutsche Bank is looking to create the “most eco-friendly high-rise buildings in the world – the headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt.” Between the years 2007 and 2010, the bank carried out a number of modernization projects to increase the bank’s commitment to sustainability and positively contribute to climate protection. Through these changes, Deutsche Bank has been able to reduce energy consumption by more than 50 percent and water use by almost 75 percent. In total, carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced by 55 percent through building operations, plus the utilization of renewable energy sources further drops the carbon footprint by 34 percent.

9 ) Deutsche Bank Rated for Renewable Energy. In July of 2011 Deutsche Bank was named one of the very top four global financial institutions for the purchasing of renewable energy by the Bloomberg Corporate Global Renewable Energy Index. The bank, if not able to generate energy looks to purchase renewable energy. Deutsche Bank also has its Green Lease negotiations where it encourages landlords all around Germany to do the same thing.

10 ) DB Masdar Cleantech Fund. In January of 2010, Deutsche Bank and Masdar announced the creation of the DB Masdar Cleantech Fund. This fun will bring together “the deep sector knowledge and scope of the Masdar Initiatives with the global asset management and research capabilities of Deutsche Bank.” This fund looks to create a diversified venture capital and private equity portfolio to include a number of the most pioneering and promising renewable energy and cleantech companies around the globe. The fund will mainly invest in later stage and expansion companies within the clean energy, environmental resources, and energy and material efficiency sectors.

Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He is also author of The 2012 Cleantech Directory. He can be reached at