A number of senators and representatives led by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) have cosponsored The Green Bank Act of 2017 (PDF) (S. 1406. H.R. 2995). The act is expected to support the establishment of a national green bank capitalized with $10 billion in treasury-issued green bonds. This is the third time legislators have proposed it.
Working to build a strong support system for financing energy efficiency and renewable energy requires a collaborative approach with all hands on deck. In the rocky seas of this year’s federal and state climate and energy policy, state and local green banks are emerging as a potentially protective anchor that policymakers can create. Yale Center for Business and the Environment is currently building a training program that will use a set of green banking case studies on innovative clean energy-finance structures that students developed last year. This week, the first case study is being published.
The global financing market for energy efficiency projects is facing many hurdles, according to Esteban Suárez, a representative of the Energy Savings Insurance Team at Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). These include asymmetric distribution of information, absence of standardized financing instruments, misinformation about potential obstacles, and a lack of risk insurance.
As part of President Trump’s resolution to cut government spending, the White House has proposed drastic budget reductions for the United States Department of Energy (DOE) – and for its clean energy office. These may affect the State Energy Program (SEP), which has yielded broad-ranging health and economic benefits.
Who is driving corporate sustainability forward? In this interview, David Lubin, co-founder and managing director of Constellation Research and Technology, shared his perspective on CFOs’ role in steering the wheel of these decisions. It often takes a dedicated commitment made by a CEO to make a compelling case – and an integrated sustainability plan carried out by the CFO to make it happen.
What kept Governor Rick Snyder (R-Mich.) up all night in December? According to Katie Trachsel, manager of the Michigan Renewable Energy Certification System (MIRECS) program, it was the passage of two pieces of legislation that transformed the state’s renewable energy laws, encouraged energy efficiency, and reshaped utility regulation. Meanwhile, Illinois rolled out its new renewable portfolio standard (RPS). Brian Granahan, chief counsel at Illinois Power Agency, said the RPS was designed to resolve a confusing set of policies. The new goals are clearer and easier to follow than the previous ones.
What are the advantages of siting renewable energy on brownfields that corporations own? An article by lawyers at the firm Sullivan & Worcester, “Unlocking the Clean Energy Value of Dormant Corporate Properties,” highlights the potential financial and environmental benefits of repurposing old industrial and manufacturing properties as locations for corporations to generate renewable energy.
Leaders from business and government joined the dialogue on carbon pricing revenue at the “Innovating to Meet the Climate Challenge” event in New York City on Sept. 21. Revenues can enhance productivity across the economy by reducing the capital cost of renewable energy, enabling investments in different sectors and addressing corporations’ carbon portfolios, panelists said.
Energy storage is continuing to gain traction in the commercial and industrial (C&I) space as well as among utilities, thanks to the large variety of additional services it promises to provide. However, many customers are still curious about its tangible value and savings. In an attempt to answer these questions, Growing Energy Labs Inc. – also known as GELI, an intelligent energy software and analytics company – hosted a webinar series. The first event was called “Solar + Storage : Why 1 + 1 =3.” It addressed the additional value a storage system can add in combination with solar PV. The second one was called "Solar + Storage : Risk Mitigation and Monetization."
Growing momentum for energy efficiency financing in the United States has motivated State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network to conduct around 20 interviews with stakeholders in five states to explore what it takes to make utility-sponsored programs succeed. The research team produced a report that outlines the pitfalls and promises of a wide range of evaluation techniques.
At a public event in Boston on June 11 called "Designing Solar’s Value: A Stakeholder’s Forum," speakers outlined an ambitious proposal to shift the entire framework of solar financing in Massachusetts to a value-of-solar model. The newly founded Northeast Solar Energy Market Coalition (NESEMC) cosponsored the event, which was hosted by Solar Energy Business Association of New England (SEBANE).
What are the political options the United States solar industry faces as it seeks to avert the impact of the phase-out of the federal investment tax credit (ITC)? A policy paper produced by researchers at The George Washington University, “Softer Solar Landings: Options to Avoid the Investment Tax Credit Cliff,” explores four potential alternatives to the current plan and assesses their political viability.
International Energy Agency (IEA) launched the Energy Efficiency Market Report 2015 on Oct. 8 via a webinar. IEA projected the market would continue to grow and would reach $120 billion USD by 2020. However, this number “still falls far short of the estimated $215 billion USD to reach the 2-degree scenario,” said Sam Thomas, senior programme manager at IEA.