Artemis energy fund boosts exposure to ‘innovative’ renewables

The Artemis Global Energy fund is poised to raise its allocation to renewables by investing in a private company developing innovative fuel cells.

John Dodd and Richard Hulf, the fund’s managers, plan to allocate 1.75% of the £84.1m portfolio to Intelligent Energy, a Loughborough-based clean power firm, by the end of the year.

The managers can allocate up to 10% of the portfolio to private businesses. It owns four such enterprise, accounting for 5% of the fund. (article continues below)

Intelligent Energy specialises in proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack technologies, which it claims are simpler and more compact than their conventional fuel cell rivals.

Earlier this year, black cabs using the firm’s fuel cells took to the streets of London. Intelligent Energy is part of a project to build a fleet of fuel taxis in the capital ahead of the 2012 Olympics.

Hulf says: “The fuel cell is probably the most promising part of the renewables spectrum that we’ve seen so far. We see an unbelievable upside [in Intelligent Energy]. We normally see these things in terms of a 10-year horizon but this is being rolled out next year.”

The Artemis Global Energy fund has a 3% allocation to renewables through firms in the biofuel and wind power spaces. Dodd explains the fund is focused on oil and gas, which account for a collective 87% of the portfolio, because “hydrocarbons fuel energy”.

However, he expects renewables to play an increasingly important role in the industry once more firms become less reliant on government support and establish themselves as stronger commercial operations.

Research by Freedonia Group predicted in July that commercial demand for fuel cells will increase by more than nine-fold in the years to 2020. Global commercial demand is expected to exceed £6 billion by 2020, with portable fuel cells tipped to account for 97% of this.