Dec. 2017 – 5 Snippets – Clean Energy Finance Trends

Fighting the Power:

Distributed vs. Centralized Generation

  • A new 63-page report from the Puerto Rico Energy Resiliency Working Group details a vision for investing $17B to rebuild the grid there. Entitled “Build Back Better: Reimagining and Strengthening the Power Grid of Puerto Rico,” the report calls for $1.4B to be invested in distributed energy resources like microgrids and solar. You’ve heard what they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” In this case, it is broken, and now the challenge is to fix it right. Thanks to Renewable Energy World for good coverage of this report.
Philanthropy vs. Profit:
Power to the People
  • Providing electricity to the 1.2B people who lack it globally seems like a charitable endeavor of massive scale. But providing energy access to the “base of the pyramid” is quickly becoming a for-profit activity and a slam dunk for ethics in energy. I’ve done work in Ethiopia and India with d.light and Greenlight Planet, which together have sold maybe 10M solar units in 50+ countries. It’s really life changing on all sides, and topics of “environment” or “climate” never come up. So refreshing. This article deserves your attention: “Living Under the Grid: 110 Million of Africa’s Unconnected Customers Represent a Massive Opportunity.” Further, Duke University, where I’m also an Executive in Residence, has recently become a global hub for bringing academic practice into reality for greater energy access around the world (via the Energy Access Project). Times are a ‘changing…
$20M Awarded for Batteries:

Massachusetts Creates New Market

  • After two years of goals and reports, on Dec. 7, 2017, the state awarded $20M, twice its original $10M commitment, to 25 communities, along with $32M in matching funds, in order to test 8 of the 10 battery use cases described in its 2016State of Charge report. These projects represent 85 MWh of the state’s 200 MWh energy storage target by Jan. 1, 2020. For context, only 7 MWh of storage exist in the state today. Here’s a list of all the funded battery projects. First, it was California, and now Massachusetts. Who’s next in the trajectory towards Bloomberg’s projections of a $250B battery market in 2040. (Thanks, Utility Dive.) Don’t be too late to the party, or you might miss the best food and drinks…


I Love Dirty Skies and Unhealthy Kids:
Values Nor Value in Latest Tax Bill
  • Perhaps some of you all also had to cover your kids’ ears as you screamed “potty words” upon hearing that the tax bill passed the U.S. Senate. Nothing says, “I respect God’s creations,” like taxing renewable energy tax equity investments, killing EV tax credits, opening up drilling in a 1.5M-acre preserve in the Arctic, and force feeding bald eagles to drink U.S.-sourced gasoline before prayers on Capitol Hill. (Sorry, the last one was a reach.) Learn more from the LA Times.
530 Million EVs by 2040:
Such a Tiny Niche

  • (Yep, that was sarcasm.) Bloomberg’s current projections for EVs as a percentage of total vehicle sales assume assume 8% by 2025, 24% by 2030, and 54% by 2040, leading to 530 million EVs on the road globally by 2040, then displacing 8 million barrels of daily (mgd) oil use, when roughly 100 mgd is projected for global demand. Learn more from Bloomberg. #NotJustaCuteToy #TheNewOil


These originally appeared in Two-Bullet Tuesday, a weekly newsletter focused on clean energy, finance, business tips, trivia, and humor.

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