Topic: Economic Opportunity

Economic Opportunity Articles

A Tale of Two Green Bank Bills

Guess which part of the United States is so motivated to put a green bank in place that two legislative bills are competing to do the honors? It’s Massachusetts, which is considering two proposed green banks that would be very different from one another. “I’m hopeful,” said State Rep. Paul Mark (D-Peru), sponsor of House Bill 3532 . “If it doesn’t pass, we’ll file it again next session.” Mark spoke to a packed room at Western Mass Green Consortium’s Holiday Season Green Night Party on Dec. 9 in Northampton. He said he has sent a letter of support for the...

First Report on Multifamily Solar with Storage Shows Positive ROI

Until this year, no research had been published about how multifamily building owners across the United States can profitably install solar power and energy storage to make it possible for senior citizens and low-income apartment residents to survive extreme weather. Now, a new study from Clean Energy Group has revealed that these installations are promising candidates for investment in three major cities: Chicago, Washington, and New York City.

Optimism at the Secretary’s Climate and Clean Energy Investment Forum

The attitude of speakers at the Secretary’s Climate and Clean Energy Investment Forum can be summarized in two words: guarded optimism. A conference hosted jointly by the United States Department of State , Google , and Georgetown University on Oct. 20-21, the forum focused on current and future efforts to funnel investments toward climate solutions.

Global Energy-Efficiency Market Is Growing – But Not Fast Enough

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.

Incentives Prime the Pump for the Clean Power Plan

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.

Innovation Routes Clean Energy to Low-to-Middle-Income Communities

On Oct. 20, stakeholders from across the clean-energy-finance sector came together for the day-long conference in New York City, Innovations in Clean Energy Finance IV: Market Successes and Lessons for Lower Income. The conference was convened by Citi, Environmental Defense Fund, and Elevate Energy. An historic hardware store is still open in a community in Edmonton, Canada. Low- and moderate-income (LMI) households are often respectively defined as families with incomes less than 80 percent or 100 percent of the Area Median Income. They comprise 40 percent of American households, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas...

Building Climate Resilience in Native American Communities

In the Navajo Nation, electricity may be a fragile commodity as climate change intensifies. Other tribes in the United States face similar energy quandaries. The United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced on Sept. 2 that it is requesting applications to co-fund renewable energy, energy efficiency, and combined heat and power to help increase the climate resilience of indigenous communities. The available funding is estimated to total around $4-6 million. Applications are due by Dec. 10.

A Solar Social Enterprise Collects Best Practices in India

How can social enterprises finance solar power and other investments sustainably while also bringing funding up to scale? SELCO Foundation hosted two roundtable discussions in India in 2014 and 2015 to ask stakeholders how to respond to these challenges. The roundtables and a set of interviews yielded a report, “ Bridging Gaps: Investors and Social Energy Enterprise .”

Citi Suggests Global Climate Investment Goals

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.