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.
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.
When refugees and migrants escape adverse circumstances in search of better lives, the organizations that assist them tend to not prioritize sustainable energy development as a tactic. But if these relief providers follow the recommendations of two reports published by the EU Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility and Moving Energy Initiative, they will start doing so.
Combining renewable energy with female empowerment, Empower Generation is an organization introducing solar energy and unique business practices to the Terai region in Nepal. By training women in rural communities to start, manage and expand their own businesses, Empower Generation uses entrepreneurship as a tool for social, economic and technological change.
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.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are on the front line of climate change, facing the damage of shrinking coastlines and the ravages of tropical storms. However, these 57 island nations around the world can attempt to address this global challenge by relying on their renewable resources including sunshine, wind, hydropower and biomass. The topic was the subject of multiple events in November at COP23 in Bonn, Germany.
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.
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...