Topic: Economic Opportunity

Economic Opportunity Articles

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.

Solar Stakeholders Sharpen Their Ability to Reduce Soft Costs

While the installation costs for solar in the United States have dropped dramatically in recent years, the number is double that in Germany. The difference has mainly resulted from soft costs – costs that do not relate directly to construction. To explore the cost-reduction opportunities, Solar Power World held a webinar on April 28 to discuss some major strategies for installers to decrease the soft costs of financing, training, and local solar programs.

Replacing Diesel Generation with Hybrid Renewable Energy Plants

What players are emerging to transform the fleet of off-grid diesel power plants in developing countries? This year’s Finance for Resilience winners at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Future of Energy Summit included Global Renewable Independent Power Supplier (GRIPS). GRIPS seeks to connect large off-takers with investors through an innovative, market-based approach. According to Alexander Voigt, CEO of GRIPS, the startup will replace captive diesel generation with hybrid renewable power plants in places with nonexistent or unstable grid connections.

How Is USAID Attracting Global Clean Energy Financing?

What has United States Agency for International Development (USAID) done to support efforts to scale up clean energy? What are the impacts of these clean energy projects? What is USAID’s strategy to attract funding from the private sector? In this interview, Jeffrey Haeni, energy division chief of the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment at USAID, shared his insights on global clean energy development.