Fund performance: Element, Chrysalix buck cleantech’s poor results

Funds from Element Partners and Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital have emerged as the winners in a mostly poor performing cleantech portfolio at California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

The Clean Energy and Technology Fund portfolio has 14 cleantech venture and energy funds with vintages of 2007 to 2010. All but two of the funds had negative IRRs as of September 2015, according to a recent performance report.

The two that didn’t were Element Partners II and Chrysalix Energy III, both from 2008.

The pair now claim the portfolio’s top two spots, with the Chrysalix fund showing a big performance gain.

With cleantech out of favor, funds in general continue to struggle. In the 15 months up to September, about as many funds saw their performance deteriorate as saw their performance improve.

Funds from VantagePoint Capital Partners and Nth Power are two examples. Both are at the bottom of the portfolio with double-digit negative IRRs.

In this environment, Element Partners II stands out with an IRR of 5.1 percent as of September last year, according to the report. The fund pulled back modestly from June 2014.

Chrysalix Energy III, in contrast, advanced over the same period. Its IRR as of September was 4.2 percent, compared with a negative 4.4 percent in June 2014, the report shows.

The complete list of funds is available in the accompanying table with commitments, distributions and IRRs.