Alternative energy venture Pineapple Power [LSE:PNPL] has listed its cash shell on the London Stock Exchange.
The cash shell went live for investors on 24 December, just before the Christmas break. Since then the share price has moved from its listing price of 3p to trade at 5.64p at time of writing on 8 January. This represents an already spectacular gain for the cash shell, one of only four to list on the LSE in 2020.
Interest in Pineapple Power is already picking up and the cash shell’s objective is to invest in one or more privately held companies in the clean energy sector, a hot market in 2020 and likely to be even hotter in 2021.
While we have been witness to a flurry of cash shell listings in the US – where they are referred to as SPACs, special purpose acquisition companies – the London market has thus far been much quieter in this respect. An estimated $63bn was raised by 190 SPAC listings in the US in 2020, according to data from Refinitiv.
Targeting acquisitions in clean energy sector
Pineapple Power is seeking to make acquisitions specifically in the emerging clean energy technology sector. It is a market poised for exciting growth, according to the IEA (International Energy Agency), which in its 2021 forecast anticipates that clean energy growth globally will revert to trend this year after the disruptions of 2020.
According to the IEA, 167 GW of renewable capacity is forecast to have become operational in 2020 with much more to come online this year. New PV installations are expected to see a partial rebound in 2021, owing to utility-scale projects that return to 2019 additional levels.
In most countries, the energy sector counts among the essential services. Therefore, lockdown measures do not necessarily imply that construction activity on energy projects, including renewables, has fully stopped.
“Pineapple Power is one of only a handful of cash shells to make it onto the London market in 2020,” said Clive de Larrabeiti, founder of Pineapple Power Corporation. “We’ve been very pleased with the response from investors so far, and this in part reflects growing interest in the potential of technology in the renewable energy sector. Pineapple Power is now ideally positioned as a reverse takeover candidate for a privately held energy company seeking to fund their clean energy growth.”
Increasing political support for clean energy tech
We are now seeing increasing political support for the clean energy market. Existing incentives to builders of renewable energy infrastructure are also being extended deep into 2021 to compensate for delays incurred due to COVID.
The advent of the Biden administration in the US is also likely to provide a further shot in the arm for renewables investment on a macro scale.
“People want their energy sources to be clean and cheap,” says Abel Gustafson, of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. “They want to avoid pollution and environmental harms, and they want to keep the cost low….Democrats, more than Republicans, support renewable energy out of the desire to reduce global warming.”
We anticipate considerable investor interest in this space in 2021 as larger energy companies start to cast around for the infrastructure solutions that will help them to realise the shift from fossil fuels.