Topic: Economic Opportunity

Economic Opportunity Articles

New York Debates How to Finance Low-Income Solar

In most of the United States, low-to-moderate-income (LMI) communities have little to no voice about how solar energy can bring jobs and economic stability. New York is an exception. The state held an extended dialogue on this subject this year through the CDG Low-Income Collaborative. Although the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC) dismissed the committee’s recommendations, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) decided to put some of them in place.

United States Wants Local Banks to Invest in Community-Shared Solar

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced this July that it plans to host an event to bring together local bankers and regulators to discuss expanding community solar nationally. With only a few months remaining in 2016, the federal administration is taking small actions that may last long after President Obama leaves office.

Powering Africa Is the Key to Development

Energy poverty affects more than two thirds of those in sub-Saharan Africa. That is, 600 million that live without access to electricity. In 2013, President Obama launched Power Africa to double access to electricity throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Electrifying the continent will catalyze development progress. Energy access is intertwined with several development goals such as women’s empowerment, climate mitigation, and expanded education.

OPEC Nation Commits to Renewable Energy, But Investors Are Wary

Angola, one of Africa’s oil-producing OPEC countries, has recently announced an ambitious plan to add 800 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2025. In contrast to its carbon-intensive petroleum exports, the country’s energy mix is fairly clean, with over 70 percent of electricity production coming from hydropower. The government plans to maintain a clean energy mix – 66 percent from hydropower and an additional 8 percent from renewable energy – while doubling access to electricity within the next decade.

United States Enables Residential PACE

Removing federal obstacles to property assessed clean energy (PACE) has been a long-term subject of debate. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a guideline on July 19 enabling residential PACE financing and clarifying the conditions for purchasing or refinancing assessments with Federal Housing Administration loans.

California Supports Solar Roofs for Multifamily Affordable Housing

Climate resilience pays dividends in financial stability and public health. California has passed legislation, AB 693, that will provide up to $1 billion for solar roofs for multifamily affordable housing. A May report by Clean Energy Group, “Closing the California Clean Energy Divide: Reducing Electric Bills in Affordable Multifamily Rental Housing with Solar+Storage,” found these retrofits can zero out some properties’ net electricity bills.

Wells Fargo Funds Minority-Owned Green Businesses in North Carolina

After decades of underinvestment, African-American farmers and small business owners in North Carolina will now receive green enterprise loans from Natural Capital Investment Fund. The award of $1.6 million, announced on May 3, is part of a much larger program by Wells Fargo that seeks to fill part of the huge void in bank financing of minority-owned businesses.