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.
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.
If Pope Francis was the United States Secretary of the Treasury, he might have issued the Department of the Treasury's recent press release on April 22 with this comment from his encyclical “Laudato Si:" “Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference, that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live. The poor and the earth are crying out.”
Now that installations of solar PV coupled with battery storage (solar+storage) are becoming more common in commercial markets, it is important that disadvantaged communities not be left behind. One of the reasons for this lag in market uptake of clean energy in low- and moderate-income communities is a persistent financing gap.
The focus of business leaders shifted toward new horizons on Jan. 31 at the Investor Summit on Climate Risk in New York City. These included the role of organized labor in the global energy transition. This was the first conference session Clean Energy Finance Forum has covered where labor issues were discussed at length.
Washington, DC is already on track to surpass the building energy efficiency goals it set seven years ago, according to the DC Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). DOEE has achieved this through a unique public-private partnership participation in the Better Buildings Challenge. It also has a suite of other renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
Mexico’s Sociedad Hipotecaria Federal finances houses for low-income families. For the last five years, it has been giving incentives for the construction of energy-efficient houses through a program called “EcoCasa.” The program has been successful in reducing Mexico’s carbon footprint while sustaining the housing industry’s growth and providing affordable housing.
During the solar policy debates that have happened in the United States over the past several years, many conversations about what low-income utility customers want have taken place without the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) being in the room. But now that the organization has published its 2017 report “Just Energy Policies: Model Energy Policies Guide,” it’s clear that the views of its constituents have been misrepresented in these meetings.
The growth of the off-grid solar appliance market hints at untapped opportunities for investors to support energy access goals. According to the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association, in the first half of 2017, over 3.5 million such products were sold globally, yielding nearly $100 million in sales. Over 8 million products were sold in 2016. These figures represent impressive headway toward providing modern energy services to the poorest members of global society.
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).
Greentech Media’s first international Solar Summit, held on Jan. 27-28 in Mexico City, left more questions than answers about the future of solar in Mexico. Speakers said that the solar markets are in flux at all levels of development. The country is far from reaching a steady state. Developers who are willing to take risks could enjoy huge payoffs but must first face significant regulatory uncertainty.
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.
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...
Eden Full Goh discovered the potential of solar power when she was just 10 years old. She had come across a book in the library that taught her how to build a small solar-powered car. Once she took the book home and built it, she was hooked. She wanted to see what else she could do with this...