On March 17, the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) hosted its annual Renewable Energy Policy Forum, where speakers and attendees came to a broad consensus that consistent policy is the missing link in the national renewable energy playing field. Industry leaders noted that many had looked to the Clean Power Plan (CPP) as a source for political guidance. However, now that the climate rule has been put on hold, uncertainty remains. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) affirmed that the recent tax extenders for wind and solar will allow for the renewable industry to strategically prepare for upcoming years. But in order to achieve a more stable tableau for all renewables, Congress must agree on comprehensive tax reform – the Senator called the current tax code “a rotting dead carcass” and a “monument to yesteryear.” Business leaders also agreed that even negative consistent policy is preferable to inconsistency – and long-term consistent policy is not yet part of the American play book.
Renewable energy is revolutionizing the global energy markets; in fact, in some regions, renewables are growing so quickly that they are the leading source of new generating capacity. As a larger and broader group of investors embrace renewables and incorporate them into their portfolios, they expect these assets to be well-managed, generating a steady financial return. Many of these new investors are not investing because they are “green”; they are doing so because of the attractive yields offered by these assets. As a result, developers and project managers should expect an increasing level of scrutiny from these new investors, requiring them to take a closer look at how they manage O&M (operations and maintenance) in the field as well as how they deal with asset management in the office.
After COP21 in Paris, there are still many questions being posed: how will the U.S., and the world, meet these ambitious emissions reductions targets? Will time run out before we can cut emissions enough to avoid the irreversible consequences of climate change? Should the U.S. turn to other technologies like nuclear generation to meet emissions targets? To answer these questions, many leaders from around the world are looking to Denmark to study how this small country has become a leader in implementing renewable energy solutions and serving as a catalyst for change. Within Denmark, one needs look no further than Samsoe for inspiration.
Over the next two weeks, leaders from around the world will convene in Paris for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP21. This year, there is renewed, if cautious optimism about the possibility of a binding agreement among governments to act on this critical global issue.
But there’s another side to the climate change story that’s being written not in parliaments or at diplomatic summits, but in boardrooms and corporate executive suites.
I was speaking with a friend the other day when she asked, “What’s going on with renewable energy tax extenders this year? Are the PTC and ITC going to be extended?” As we know, the Production Tax Credit (PTC) expired at the end of 2014 and the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit (ITC) will expire at the end of 2016. That’s in addition to a dozen other energy credits affecting biofuels, electric vehicles, and energy efficiency that have also expired.
After an exciting day of keynotes and discussions, the opening panel of the second day of the Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF West) began with a focus on investment banking perspectives on solar project financing. Bringing together a selection of top energy bankers from leading institutions that are active in renewable energy financing, the panel discussed movements and trends in the present and near future term and how the financial landscape has changed over the last 12 months.
By Christine Hertzog 09/04/13
Distributed generation (DG) has been called an existential threat to electric utilities. But it doesn’t have to be a doomsday scenario, and there’s interesting work going on in the field of Transactive Energy that envisions a much more pragmatic future of the Smart Grid.
By John Anderson 08/30/2013
In another major study released today on wind farms and property values, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) analyzed more than 50,000 home sales near 67 wind facilities in 27 counties across nine U.S. states, yet was unable to uncover any impacts to nearby home property values.
By ACORE Interim CEO, Michael Brower 08/22/2013
It should be no surprise that when Gallup asks Americans to choose between economic growth or protecting the environment – during a time when too many Americans are still out of work, living paycheck to paycheck, drowning with college debt, and underemployed – they choose improving economic growth. But even as the economy remains America’s number one priority; more and more Americans are calling for action on climate change. Most Americans see the environmental and economic challenges climate change poses, but they also recognize--as the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) does--that clean, renewable energy is a solution to both environmental and economic challenges.