Members of ARP TFI team participated in the Infrastructure Investor Global Summit conference in Berlin on 18-21 March 2024.

Organised annually for more than a dozen years, this year’s conference attracted more than 3,000 participants representing, among others, institutional and private investors, development banks, fund managers and advisory firms from the EU and other parts of the world, with a noticeable delegation of Polish financial institutions already present.

The conference consisted of several panels in three parallel streams, in thematic series covering energy transition, sustainability, emerging markets and digital infrastructure, among others.

The expert discussions paint a good picture of today’s infrastructure investment market, evolving in search of long-term predictable, stable returns. One new element of this market seems to be blurring of the lines between investors and fund managers. Institutional investors are increasingly co-investing directly in large infrastructure projects, side-by-side with the funds where they participate. At the same time, the consolidation of the fund manager market is continuing, with large firms acquiring smaller ones, growing their assets under management, and allocating a part thereof to funds of funds.

Investment in renewables continues to be the mainstream of the energy transition. While wind farms and photovoltaic plants have reached technological maturity and are beginning to be treated similarly to real estate investments, energy storage in many jurisdictions is still a risky asset, vulnerable to market and regulatory changes. Of particular interest to ARP TFI representatives was a panel discussing district heating systems as a specific asset operating under local monopoly conditions, where the interests of private investors can be reconciled with the needs of local communities.

The series of panels on sustainability was also interesting. Reporting fund performance in this area has already become commonplace almost as much as financial reporting, but while accounting standards have been taking shape for over a century, ESG reporting standards are only just developing. Measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emission reductions no longer poses many problems, but the discussion about quantifying the other parameters of the ESG triad remains open.

ARP TFI is creating the Polish Green Fund that will invest in the energy transition and decarbonisation of Polish power generation, district heating and industry with financing not only from the public sector, but also from Polish and foreign private investors. The participation of ARP TFI representatives at the Berlin conference resulted in many new contacts and conversations confirming that investments in Polish green infrastructure are attracting investor interest.