Industry experts reaffirm need for long-term policy support to unlock untapped capital
New York, NY - At the Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Wall Street (REFF-Wall Street), hosted this week in New York by the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Euromoney Energy Events (EEE), more than 50 experts from the financial sector and the renewable energy industry addressed a forum of over 600 delegates, exploring the evolving landscape for investment opportunities and driving forward the industry's future.
A new report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) at REFF-Wall Street showed that renewable power is increasingly cost-competitive with new fossil fuel generation, but the agency warns against complacency. "As their costs continue to fall, renewable power sources are increasingly standing on their own merits versus new fossil-fuel generation," said Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director of IEA. "This is good news for the global energy system that needs to become cleaner and more diversified, but it should not be an excuse for government complacency."
President Obama's speech on climate change, live-streamed into the Forum, also reaffirmed the need for government to look at developing a more structured, long term, and sustainable approach to renewable energy policy and investment incentive drivers.
"As the President indicated in his landmark climate speech yesterday, renewable energy can be the economic "engine of growth" to power America's fight against climate change, and the time to act is now," said Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, CEO and President of ACORE. I believe that our industry presents a solid investment opportunity to create a more secure, prosperous America. Ours is an industry that will continue to innovate, create more jobs, lower our carbon emissions and strengthen America's energy future for decades to come."
Discussions about finance mechanisms that can unlock new capital were at the core of the program. "The renewable energy financing community is in the process of creating a variety of additional financing mechanisms that will provide more capital at reduced cost," added Dan Adler, Managing Directorof the California Clean Energy Fund (CALCEF), and Co-chair of the ACORE Board of Directors.
With remaining uncertainty on a federal policy level, state RPS policies remain critical to renewable energy development. Market certainty for secure, clean and affordable renewable energies has become mainstream in states across the country. "As fiscal austerity and intense partisanship continue to hinder the advancement of comprehensive federal energy policy, state-level policies key to the production and use of renewable energy are more important than ever," said Forum Co-chair, Laura Seale Lovelace, Founder & Managing Partner at Lovelace Energy Advisors.
"As of January 2012, 30 states plus DC had enforceable state Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) in order to promote an increased generation of electricity by renewable sources of energy," continued Lovelace. "In addition, some states are looking into the establishment of green banks that would match public funding with private sector money. These types of investments, along with parity for renewables in the tax code, are incredibly important in spurring growth and development in the renewable energy industry and continuing the great progress we have seen over the last several years."
The Forum also featured discussions about the integration of renewable energy resources with natural gas, and the ongoing role of smart grids and technological developments in helping utilities better manage and incorporate renewables into their portfolios.
The consensus of industry leaders at the REFF-Wall Street Forum was that the industry's sustained long term growth remains dependent upon a sensible multi-year approach to investor incentives. It is time that the federal government creates long term policy support to ensure that the sector continues its momentum on the path to an independent competitive market and to fulfill its potential as a crucial source of the nation's energy supply.
ABOUT REFF-WALL STREET
REFF-Wall Street is the premier renewable energy financing event in the U.S. The event draws an especially senior audience, comprising of over 600 senior decision makers, financiers and professionals in the renewable energy finance field including CEOs and other senior company officials, lenders, investors, investment bankers, private equity investors, venture capitalists and other top transactional professionals in renewable energy finance.
ACORE, a 501(c) (3) non-profit membership organization, is dedicated to building a secure and prosperous America with clean, renewable energy. ACORE seeks to advance renewable energy through finance, policy, technology, and market development and is concentrating its member focus in 2013 on National Defense & Security, Power Generation & Infrastructure, and Transportation. Additional information is available at http://www.acore.org/.
ABOUT EUROMONEY ENERGY EVENTS
Euromoney Energy Events, part of Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, is a leading international events company that organizes high-profile conferences for clean energy professionals worldwide. Their diverse portfolio of events brings together senior delegates from the renewable energy and cleantech industries with investors, financiers and other professionals. More information atEuromoney Energy Events.