In an interview with CEFF, the Connecticut Green Bank unveiled its plans to bring to market approximately $15 to 20 million of new $1,000 face value “Green Liberty Bonds” around April 22, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. In a twist, the new bonds will be available not just to institutional investors but to retail investors throughout Connecticut and beyond.
A growing list of Connecticut towns want to play a bigger role in procuring clean energy, but first they need state lawmakers to give them the authority. Known as community choice aggregation, the model gives local governments the right to buy power on behalf of their residents, enabling them to focus on buying more renewable energy or lowering costs, or both.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf proposed Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) legislation in the fall 2019 legislative season. By voting to join RGGI, Pennsylvania can reduce electricity rates, improve the state and regional economy, and make the state a leader in the global effort to combat climate change.
A study by Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance identified two ways distributed energy resources can reduce costs: act as non-wires alternatives to avoid investment in tranmission and distribution ($2.45 billion over ten years), and decrease peak energy costs in the wholesale market which is worth $3.01 billion.
Utilities like Duke Energy and Xcel Energy have issued billions in green bonds to fund renewables development. Green banks in New York, Connecticut and other states are backing investments in distributed resources and energy efficiency. It appears much more institutional money wants in on the green opportunity.
Rival developer teams filed formal proposals with Connecticut regulators to build massive new wind farms off New England’s southern coast, with the state having mandated that 40% of its electricity be generated from renewable sources within a decade’s time.
Texas offers an instructive case study for the growth of renewable energy. Most of the state’s electricity is delivered through the deregulated Electric Reliability Council of Texas market. The state has long since surpassed its mandated renewable portfolio standard, so market dynamics dictate the ongoing pace of renewables growth. Nonetheless, Texas is by far the country’s largest wind power generator and is slated to see major growth in solar capacity as well.
Regulatory changes to the Securities Act in 2016 enabled crowdinvesting, an idea that can usher in a new era of inclusive project finance, ripe to transform the clean energy industry. We need to envision a democratized clean energy future, with renewable energy and climate solution projects originated and owned by the communities that use them.
Last week as Texas’ ERCOT grid reached its price cap of $9,000 per megawatt-hour and the price map on ERCOT’s website became a solid and deep red, many energy market wonks highlighted that this is a feature, not a failure, of the market.