Nalin Nayyar, CFO of Yellow Door Energy, recently gave an interview with the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA). In the interview, Nayyar discussed the importance of sustainable finance and shared his story in solar. Below is an excerpt of the interview.
Please describe your role at Yellow Door Energy and expertise in the sector?
As the CFO of Yellow Door Energy, I am responsible for driving the company’s finance strategy, which includes the development, implementation and oversight of control, accounting and reporting policies. This entails optimizing the group’s capital and tax structures, as well as improving the company’s budgeting and financial planning process. In addition, I oversee Yellow Door Energy’s fundraising efforts and investor relations.
While I am relatively new to the renewable energy sector, I am not new to the finance world. In fact, I have over three decades of experience across financial services and the corporate sector. During my career, I have orchestrated over $40 billion in value across various financings and Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) in the U.S., Europe and Asia. I started my career in project finance and now I am back to managing a company heavily focused on project finance.
How did your story in solar begin and your opinion, how much has it changed since then, if at all?
For me, my involvement in what I call “socially conscious” work started about a decade ago in the healthcare sector. A desire to work in the MEA region and remain in a socially conscious sector resulted in my move to Yellow Door earlier this year. That said, while the provision of sustainable energy solutions is a somewhat new sector for me, raising capital, optimizing capital structures and managing the reporting function is a culmination of three decades of experience in this field.
What is sustainable finance? Why is it gaining importance?
At its root, sustainable finance involves the allocation of capital, taking into account Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) factors. From a capital provider’s perspective, this would mean calibrating return expectations based on the viability and Internal Rate of Returns (IRRs) of the underlying projects, understanding renewable energy contracts and gaining comfort with longer duration financing.
“As the world comes to grips with understanding the meaning of “net zero”, sustainable finance becomes an important catalyst in achieving the objective of net zero emissions.”
Yellow Door Energy
An encouraging example of this is the UN Net-Zero Banking Alliance. This is an industry-led, United Nations-convened initiative that brings together leading banks which commit to aligning their lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050. To-date, there are 79 banks in the alliance, with $55 trillion of total assets, which is 36% of the global banking assets. (Learn more: https://www.unepfi.org/net-zero-banking/members/).
Thank you MESIA for the interview!
To learn more, please visit MESIA’s website.View Full Press Release (PDF)