EDITOR’S NOTE: On May 17, ACORE is hosting a State of Industry Webinar entitled “Is the U.S. Primed for an Offshore Wind Boom?” More information and registration details are available here: http://bit.ly/2oIB9Em
Proponents of renewable energy in the U.S. have watched as a growing number of once promising innovations—from solar and onshore wind farms to geothermal and distributed generation—have increasingly achieved commercial scale around the country. Yet the development of large-scale offshore wind projects has lagged that of its renewable counterparts in the U.S., as well as the development of offshore wind in Europe. The latter comparison was made all the more evident by last month’s successful bids by Danish company Dong Energy and German utility EnBW to construct separate offshore wind farms in Germany without the aid of federal subsidies, a significant benchmark in the ascension of the world’s offshore wind industry.
On August 3rd, 2015, President Barak Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the final version of the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The CPP sets the first national standards to address carbon pollution from existing power plants and demonstrates to the global community that the United States is willing to take action to combat climate change. The CPP uses Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) to set state-specific carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction targets with an overall nationwide reduction of 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. While setting these targets, the CPP is designed to allow states maximum flexibility in how they achieve their individual objectives.
On Thursday, September 22nd, ACORE presented the US-Canada Renewable Energy Forum, with the support of the Canadian Consulate in New York, Brookfield Asset Management and Phillips Lytle, LLP. Held during Climate Week NYC, the forum discussed recent policy developments and worked to identify opportunities for collaboration and cross-border projects to increase the development of renewable energy in the United States and Canada. The forum was attended by over 70 people representing a diverse mix of financiers, developers, policy experts, government representatives and NGOs.
The American Council on Renewable Energy's (ACORE) latest intern publication, titled Green Bond Market Insights—Why Corporates Matter analyzes exciting new developments in the green bond market and explains the increasing role that corporate issuers can play in its expansion. Written by summer 2016 intern, Patrick Eble, this publication comes at a time when total global debt issuance topped $4 trillion in 2015, of which only $42.4 billion (or 1.1%) were green bonds. Even more staggering are the figures for corporate green bond issuance in the United States, in which companies have issued $8 billion dollars of green bonds since 2013, a mere 0.15% of the country’s total corporate debt issuance over the same period. So how will the green bond market grow? Corporate issuance is crucial.
While China has been grabbing the attention of the Asia-Pacific market and Mexico and Peru have been making headlines in Latin America with record low auction prices, developers looking to further expand in those markets should look to two countries: India and Argentina. The Indian government released big news for renewable energy developers in July as the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announced its plan to double the large-scale solar target from 20 to 40 GW by 2020. Argentina is also prepared for increased growth in renewable energy capacity as the country plans its first renewable energy auction under President Mauricio Macri’s "RenovAR" program in mid-August. Savvy project developers and investors who can navigate the political landscape of these countries will find new and unprecedented opportunities for growth and return on investment.
With most residential rooftop area in the U.S. unsuitable for traditional PV panels, the community solar model provides many customers a cost effective alternative for “going solar.” Community solar brings policy benefits like net metering, similar to rooftop installations, and models have developed, and continue to evolve, that allow customers to access community solar through their incumbent utility, as owners in a cooperative group, or as a nonprofit.