The newly founded Clean Energy Credit Union has developed a fresh model for lending that it hopes will attract attention in the United States. It is designed to make clean energy investments more accessible to a broad variety of customers.
Enter the search term “100% renewable energy” into Google and you will find fierce debate. Is the possibility of 100-percent-renewable energy a myth? Or is the world already close to achieving this goal? This debate tends to underemphasize energy efficiency. But recent research makes a case that energy efficiency is important in any discussion about 100-percent-renewable energy.
Look at the electrical systems around you. You might not know it, but from power plants with towering smokestacks to wires across the nation, the grid is changing faster than ever before. When utilities make investments approved by state regulators, the cost of the investment plus a reasonable ROI is spread out over the useful life of the equipment and bundled into your electricity rate. However, this traditional model of cost recovery does not support utility adoption of advanced energy technologies.
According to the International Energy Agency, $3.5 trillion USD of clean energy investments is needed each year through 2050 to offset the rise in carbon emissions. At the same time, an underinvestment in global infrastructure has restricted reliable access to key resources such as energy, sanitation and water. A recent study, “The Financial Performance of Real Assets Impact Investments,” conducted by Cambridge Associates and Global Impact Investing Network, shows that investments in real asset impact funds can profitably address both of these issues and help improve the livelihoods of billions of people.
In 2017, a number of companies have been working to use blockchain technology to enable alternative markets for energy trading and models for renewable energy financing. The more prominent ones include Suncontract, PowerLedger and Wepower. This may result in increased transparency for energy transactions.
Behind factory doors, decisions about industrial energy efficiency are rarely visible to the public and the media. But in the United Kingdom, Carbon Trust’s Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator is shining a spotlight on innovation by rewarding companies that step forward to rework their manufacturing processes.
Nearly a decade ago, in 2009, McKinsey & Company’s “Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy” report cited a $1.2 trillion energy-savings opportunity in the United States alone. A recent transaction breakthrough provides some of the essential building blocks: a programmatic, multi-site, multi-state Efficiency Services Agreement for a Fortune 100 company.
What are the creative new ways that smaller companies are entering the market for renewable energy? To find out, Clean Energy Finance Forum spoke with Jim Boyle, CEO and chairman of Sustainability Roundtable, Inc. Renewable energy certificates (RECs) are becoming an increasingly popular way for companies of a variety of sizes to reduce their carbon footprints. RECs also help companies support the production of renewable energy and meet or exceed their corporate-sustainability goals.
In the face of United States federal inertia regarding the Paris Agreement, a cluster of initiatives driven by corporations and NGOs has sprung up to help maintain forward momentum. These initiatives are drawing together large collaborative networks to set higher goals.
A study published on Aug. 24 by National Renewable Energy Laboratory in partnership with Clean Energy Group found that approximately 25 percent of all commercial customers in the United States could cost-effectively reduce their electric utility bills through onsite battery storage.
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).
What are the political options the United States solar industry faces as it seeks to avert the impact of the phase-out of the federal investment tax credit (ITC)? A policy paper produced by researchers at The George Washington University, “Softer Solar Landings: Options to Avoid the Investment Tax Credit Cliff,” explores four potential alternatives to the current plan and assesses their political viability.
International Energy Agency (IEA) launched the Energy Efficiency Market Report 2015 on Oct. 8 via a webinar. IEA projected the market would continue to grow and would reach $120 billion USD by 2020. However, this number “still falls far short of the estimated $215 billion USD to reach the 2-degree scenario,” said Sam Thomas, senior programme manager at IEA.