Outside the national spotlight, at a community development financial institution (CDFI) in Chicago, a high-performance program has been financing energy efficiency since 2008. This program could become the seed of one or more vastly larger projects to fund retrofits for affordable apartment buildings nationwide – if resources are available.
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 do the new year and new administration mean for the solar industry? What effects will emerge from the SunEdison bankruptcy and the SolarCity-Tesla merger? In this interview, Jigar Shah, founder and former CEO of SunEdison, provided his proactive perspective on current trends. He also expressed his viewpoint on the appropriate roles of property-assessed clean energy (PACE), international microfinance, tax incentives, and venture capital (VC).
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has launched a free online tool called Climatescope for analyzing clean-energy policy and investment opportunities in emerging markets. Climatescope has data on 58 countries across Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Now that the high-leverage Weatherization Assistance Program has been starved of funding for a few years, the fact that United States legislators are discussing closing its doors is not surprising. This shortsighted viewpoint reflects the proposed federal budget’s overall disinterest in poverty alleviation.
While energy-storage technologies are becoming an increasingly viable option, storage for solar (solar+storage) is mostly serving only high-end commercial markets. However, since this combination reduces costs and increases resilience, this emerging market is uniquely positioned to greatly benefit low-to-moderate-income (LMI) communities. The challenge is: how can we make it financially viable for this underserved demographic?
The MIT Energy Conference, which took place on March 3-4 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, explored the financial and social barriers to the major infrastructure projects that are required to support next-generation energy investments. Speakers analyzed the many changes that stakeholders face when they start expanding their use of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
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 is the federal government doing to catalyze access to clean energy? Last year, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) launched two programs that work side by side: the Clean Energy Savings for All initiative and the Clean Energy for Low-Income Communities Accelerator. These programs attempt to identify and promote models that work for low-to-moderate-income communities in urban and rural areas in every region of the country.
After continuously strengthening its ties since 2013, 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) is well on its way to facilitating a global practice of urban resilience. 100RC is a nonprofit supported by The Rockefeller Foundation.
The need to mobilize capital for green causes and adaptation initiatives to follow up on the Paris climate conference is raising many questions about the verification and assurance of what qualifies as “green” and how the proceeds of these bonds are allocated.
How can green banks collaborate internationally to scale up private financing to meet the challenge of climate change? A new international organization, the Green Bank Network, hopes to lead the way. During the Paris climate conference, six green banks and two nonprofit organizations jointly announced the opening of the network on Dec. 7. The network will accelerate clean energy installations and mobilize private investments worldwide.
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.
On May 7, 2014, Unilever and NRG Energy announced the formation of a strategic partnership. The goal? To source 100 percent of the energy used by Unilever’s United States operations from onsite and offsite renewable generation by 2020. During a recent two-day conference, managers from both companies reflected on the progress they’ve made and the lessons they’ve learned during the past year.
In the Navajo Nation, electricity may be a fragile commodity as climate change intensifies. Other tribes in the United States face similar energy quandaries. The United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced on Sept. 2 that it is requesting applications to co-fund renewable energy, energy efficiency, and combined heat and power to help increase the climate resilience of indigenous communities. The available funding is estimated to total around $4-6 million. Applications are due by Dec. 10.
One of the overlooked elements in President Obama's Clean Power Plan is the positive effect it will likely have on low-income United States citizens - those who suffer most from climate change and who are facing a crisis in available affordable housing...