A secure and responsible energy future relies on innovation. Technological innovation is needed to help increase energy efficiency and advance the energy economy. “De-risking” new energy technologies is a critical step in bringing innovation to market. And this is a step directly addressed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program.
On social media and at industry conventions, it is easy to find high-profile discussions on the technological revolution of electric grids. Experts on energy storage, distributed generation, and wireless options describe how emerging technologies are poised to transform the electricity sector. The hype is real. Energy companies are developing technologies at an increasingly rapid pace. But for all the attention on these new devices and expectations of market growth, there’s still no clear path to widespread adoption. As this series shows, several key barriers prevent technology adoption from keeping up with technology development.
Developing countries are in need of significant financial investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience. In most developing countries, government investments for climate change are limited. Therefore, in order to fulfill their commitments to the Paris Agreement, governments need to rely on other external sources of funding. Identifying and accessing these funds, however, still remains a big challenge.
Will utilities upgrade as they encounter new technologies or get left behind? That’s what attendees discussed at one of the final sessions at the Future of Energy Summit in New York City on April 10. When it comes to software, electric utilities are sometimes very far behind other companies.
In a dynamic discussion at the Rockefeller Institute of Government on April 18 in Albany, N.Y., financial experts explained how they “follow the puck” by observing technological and social trends as they move their funds from fossil fuels toward clean energy.
Last year was a record-breaking year for the solar asset backed securitization (ABS) market. The market not only crossed the 1-billion mark but also registered the highest securitization value in a single year. Part of this success was a result of new players such as Mosaic, Sunnova Solar Energy, and Dividend Solar Finance coming on board.
Interest in Ghana’s solar market is booming. However, the nation has a long way to go to reach its goals. As of March 2017, the Ghanaian Energy Commission had issued provisional licenses for developers to install roughly 3000 MW of photovoltaic capacity. Actual growth is much slower.
“Puerto Rico is suffering,” said José H. Román, interim president of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission, to a crowded room of attendees at the Future of Energy Global Summit in New York City on April 9. The summit explored how the global renewable energy market is changing even as it faces policy headwinds in North America. For Puerto Rico, a United States territory, hope for the future seems distant given its currently harsh economy and inadequate infrastructure.
At the annual MIT Energy Conference on Mar. 2- 3 in Cambridge, Mass., practitioners and entrepreneurs gathered to discuss their views about the future of energy. Throughout the conference, experts agreed that the world is transitioning to new energy sources and the next disruption may be around the corner. The panel “Energy Financing – From Idea to Investment and Onward” focused on how the industry can think about financing innovative projects that may struggle in a highly regulated market with big players.
Like a brilliant new TV show, new energy technologies must run the gauntlet of the pilot phase, soliciting interest from utilities and developers. In the electric industry, piloting new equipment can be particularly difficult because new, advanced energy-technology pilots must demonstrate that deployment won’t compromise the stability of the electric grid.
A joint committee of Massachusetts senators and representatives is approaching a decision on the future of solar power. The decision will determine how to modify net metering, an incentive policy that is critical to most solar projects' financial viability. Meanwhile, utilities are unable to plan for their systems and developers have been forced to ice projects at all stages.
As the biggest public funder of projects related to climate change, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has played a crucial role in removing market barriers to investment in clean energy worldwide. Policy de-risking, investment aggregation mechanisms, and capacity building for banks and governments are key areas where the GEF has worked to increase the flow of financing.
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.
The Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP) will tap financial resources to help prepare markets for the Clean Power Plan (CPP) in the United States. This two-year voluntary matching fund program will incentivize solar and wind energy in any states that opt into it. It also offers extra leverage for energy efficiency in low-income communities. Clean Energy Finance Forum spoke with Joe Goffman, associate assistant administrator at the EPA, who explained the program, its vision, and its objectives.
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?
They appear periodically, but predictably - media reports about the powerful, corporate utilities seeking to block consumer access to rooftop solar and maintain control of the grid versus the plucky, disruptive solar companies, fighting to bring clean, free power - and energy independence - to the...