Although clean energy may not take center stage as the star employment generator in the Great Recession recovery, it plays an important supporting role, according to Jim Barrett, chief economist at American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. This goes above and beyond the economic benefits of climate protection reported by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Adoption of solar power and microgrid technologies has been on the rise in frontier and growth markets. This trend results from declining equipment costs and increasing support from development funds, government programs, and impact investors. But there is much room to fill. There are as many as 1.1 billion people around the globe who still don’t have access to a reliable supply of electricity. Microgrids can help address the issue without expensive transmission and distribution infrastructure.
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.
In an effort to tackle growth in greenhouse-gas emissions and meaningfully address the challenge of energy poverty in India, the government plans to install 175 GW of renewable-energy capacity by 2022 to help provide electricity to the 309 million Indians who currently lack access to modern energy services.
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 Energy Star’s incentive for manufactured housing has reached its sunset date at the end of 2016, who will take the lead in advancing these goals? The federal political climate is not an encouraging one for Energy Star because it is a United States Environmental Protection Agency program.
Two international awards for climate finance are starting to work together. On Dec. 5, the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance announced its three winners. In the same email, Finance for Resilience (FiRe) named its four finalists. FiRe will narrow down the list to two winners at the 2017 Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference in April. 125 project developers applied for one or both competitions.
Even without reliably supportive policies that help clean energy grow, Midwestern coal-producing states already have many more jobs from solar and wind power than from coal production. There is also a promising economic opportunity to repurpose assembly lines in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio to manufacture renewable-energy equipment.
Some of the largest battles at November’s United Nations climate conference, COP22, broke out over climate financing – who pays for it, who gets the money, and who meets the requirements. The stage for the financing challenges was set in 2009 when developed countries agreed to a target of raising $100 billion USD annually by 2020 in the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
In regions of the developing world where electrical grids are weak or nonexistent, people often rely on kerosene. In a webinar on Sept. 16, staff from four pay-as-you-go solar companies described how they are building rural sales networks in Africa and India to replace kerosene lighting.
On the surface, Citi’s recommendations of global climate investment goals, published in August in the report “Energy Darwinism II: Why a Low Carbon Future Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth,” look deceptively simple. But a closer look at the patchwork of international regulations, legislation, and carbon markets reveals that financing clean energy in developing nations may be quite challenging to accomplish.
How can social enterprises finance solar power and other investments sustainably while also bringing funding up to scale? SELCO Foundation hosted two roundtable discussions in India in 2014 and 2015 to ask stakeholders how to respond to these challenges. The roundtables and a set of interviews yielded a report, “Bridging Gaps: Investors and Social Energy Enterprise.”
Imagine you could design the electricity market in one state from scratch. There are no pre-existing programs to satisfy and no political baggage to consider. Your only guideline is to allow the continued growth of solar power and distributed generation. You’re given a blank slate on which to envision a long-term, sustainable energy market. What would it look like?
On Oct. 20, stakeholders from across the clean-energy-finance sector came together for the day-long conference in New York City, Innovations in Clean Energy Finance IV: Market Successes and Lessons for Lower Income.