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Linda DaCosta
American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)
Ph: +1-202-393-0001 x7552
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Event: REFF Wall Street 2009
Renewable Energy Industry Expected to be Flat in 2009, Gains Predicted in 2010; Public/Private Collaboration is Key to Growth

New York, New York âEUR" June 25, 2009: The core
message coming out of yesterdayâEUR(TM)s REFF-Wall Street conference session was a
call for the government to clarify the parameters the Department of EnergyâEUR(TM)s
grant and loan programs, in order to free up private capital and stimulate the
flow of financing in the industry. This point was driven home by Matt Rogers,
Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy on the Recovery Act in his keynote
speech Wednesday morning.

Hosted by the
American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Euromoney Energy Events (EEE),
REFF-Wall Street is the leading
national conference of over 600 top executives, developers, investors and
lenders in the renewable energy industry. The event was
held on June 23-24th at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York City. The event was
focused on the effect of the financial crisis and economic recession on
renewable energy companies and projects, speakers explored and debated the
steps that need to be taken to ensure that the sector has the financing,
incentives and support to thrive.

Rogers emphasized the need for the
Administration to expedite the allocation of stimulus funding from the
Department of Energy, but also expressed the importance of taking a measured
approach to the process to ensure that a strong foundation so that these
projects will be viable in the long term.

 

âEURoeThis effort is not about the next 1, 2 or
3 years âEUR" itâEUR(TM)s about the next 20 years. We need to set up the correct
infrastructure to do it right the first time around. Speed and timeliness are
important, but we also need to make sure that we are supporting the best
projects by administering our programs in the most efficient and effective way
possible,âEUR Rogers stated.

âEURoeDOEâEUR(TM)s goal in the short term is to focus
on more mature technologies with lower risk, with the goal of getting private
capital off the sidelines and into the game. In the longer term, we will return
to being an underwriter of higher-risk innovative technologies, plugging holes
in areas such as energy efficiency and commercialization scale-up, where
private capital markets have traditionally needed more support,âEUR continued
Rogers.

One of the main messages that came out of
the conference was the assertion that the AdministrationâEUR(TM)s goal of doubling
investment in renewable energy in the next two years is not only realistic, but
necessary, and that the final piece of the puzzle for unlocking pent-up private
sector investment is the issuance of loan and grant guidance from DOE. ACORE
predicts that once the government financing comes into play, it will unlock
over $4 billion per month in funding for the industry over the next two years.

âEURoeWe applaud the effort that the
Administration is making towards relieving the bottlenecks in allocating
stimulus funding for this sector,âEUR said Michael Eckhart, President of ACORE.
âEURoeHowever, we also need to reiterate the importance of and urgency for laying
out the DOE program rules and guidance as soon as possible. Without this
clarification on the lay of the land, private capital investors are unable to
confidently make financing decisions and the industry will remain at a
standstill. We call on the President to put a 24-second shot clock on this team
and hold them to it. We think they are doing fabulous work, but they need a
deadline.âEUR

The notion that renewable energy projects
are ready to move forward was underscored by John Woolard, President and CEO of
BrightSource Energy, in the discussion of his utility scale solar power complex
in California. As he said,
"In today's credit markets, the DOE loan guarantee
and tax equity grant programs serve as valuable catalysts to encourage private
capital investment. For our Ivanpah project, we originally planned to finance
through a traditional private capital model. We will now be balancing our
financing needs with private capital and a combination of the Federal loan
guarantee and grant programs. I think it's safe to say that the entire industry
is looking forward to clarification of the grant rules and expect that with
issuance of grant guidance, we will see a significant increase in deal flow."

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