For Immediate Release—June 26, 2014
New York, NY – June 26, 2014 – At the Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Wall Street (REFF-Wall Street), hosted by the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Euromoney Energy Events (EEE), top leaders from the financial industry, the renewable energy sector and the State of New York pointed to successful state-driven policies to spur private capital along with the convergence of information technology with energy technology as critical drivers for the industry – especially while federal programs remain widely inconsistent.
“Under Governor Cuomo’s vision and leadership, our energy infrastructure is undergoing a significant transition. With initiatives like NY-Sun, Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) and NY Green Bank, we are working to transform our current energy system to one that is cleaner, more sustainable, reliable and affordable,” said Richard L. Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York State. “And that’s why the discussions that take place at the REFF-Wall Street summit are so crucial. Together, we need to change the way we support a clean energy economy in order to meet the needs of a changing environment.”
More than 60 experts from the public and private sectors as well as the renewable energy finance field addressed a gathering of over 600 delegates brought together to discuss pressing issues as the clean energy markets are reaching a tipping point while the industry again deals with uncertainty due to a continued lack of clarity around federal tax incentives and with the mid-term elections less than six months away.
“This year’s REFF-Wall Street comes at time of maturation for the renewable energy industry, especially when considering the broad deployment of solar power systems nationwide. While federal policy remains inconsistent in its support of renewables, individual states are showing real innovation and drive,” stated Michael Brower, President and CEO of ACORE. “And we see increasingly that renewable energy is helping business and the economy – as demonstrated by the business opinion polling results we released at the conference. Our research clearly shows that business leaders believe that renewable energy technologies are good for their own businesses.”
Spotlighting the success of state-driven efforts, ACORE released its Northeastern Region Report at REFF-Wall Street, highlighting the carbon dioxide reduction leadership of the region’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and the region’s deployment of more than 800 MW of new renewable energy capacity in 2013. ACORE also released the results of its Business Leaders Opinion Polling, which included findings from a survey of 800 small and large business leaders in the Midwest and the Southwest. This research found that four in five business leaders (78 percent) say that renewable energy technologies are a real growth opportunity for the economy, and 81 percent say that using renewable energy can help their own businesses.
“New York has been the home for REFF-Wall Street for eleven years now, and it has always been the natural location given the prominent financial sector,” continued Brower. “This year New York also has a special significance given the State’s successful launch of the Green Bank along with its ambitious efforts to challenge and explore traditional utility models.”
Several of this year’s speakers and the attendees highlighted the success of state-driven policies including New York’s Green Bank, California’s cap & trade mechanism and Hawaii’s GEM program. On the federal side, although there remains a lot of question as to the ultimate outcomes, many of the participants were bullish about the potential positive impact of the EPA’s proposed carbon regulations.
“Our mission is focused on working with the private sector to address financing gaps in clean energy markets,” said Alfred Griffin, President of NY Green Bank. “We are pleased to have been part of the discussions at the REFF-Wall Street summit where many in the room shared the same goal of wanting to expand financing markets for clean energy deployment. As a state sponsored specialized financial entity, we want to increase opportunities for private sector lending and see ourselves as a partner and bridge to self-sustaining, efficient financing markets for clean energy and energy efficiency initiatives across the state.”
With greater penetration of clean energy, there was consensus among participants that more innovative financing mechanisms are emerging, such as YieldCos, green bonds and securitizations. Yet certain obstacles remain – project level financing, efficiency of tax equity and the ability to extend REITs and MLPs to clean energy. In addition, several speakers remarked on the how the convergence of information technology with energy technology is empowering consumers while disrupting everything from traditional utility models to household gadgets to transportation.
“REFF-Wall Street is always a good point to sit back and think about how the year in clean energy is unfolding. What is clear is that the sector is emerging strongly from a few years’ of consolidation,” noted Michael Liebreich, Chief Executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). “While the volumes of investment may still be around where they were four years ago, the volume of installations has soared as costs have come down. It’s a very exciting time as we are seeing that renewable energy is starting to really impact the energy markets and challenge the old ways of doing business.”
“It is great to see how well attended the event was this year, and it was exciting to see how involved and engaged the participants were during the event and panel discussions,” concluded Henry Hely Hutchinson, Managing Director of Euromoney Energy Events. “REFF-Wall Street has a history of gathering the key players from the US renewable energy finance field, and this year was no exception. The U.S. renewable energy financing sector is showing real innovation in their approach to financing, and this year’s event provided an excellent venue to share these lessons with the rest of the renewable energy industry worldwide. It is an honor, a privilege and a pleasure for us at Euromoney Energy Events to be able to collaborate with ACORE on REFF-Wall Street.”
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 2014 on National Defense & Security, Power Generation & Infrastructure, and Transportation. Additional information is available at: www.acore.org
About Euromoney Energy Events:
Euromoney Energy Events produces high-profile events for clean energy professionals worldwide. Our diverse range of conferences address topical issues in the cleantech sector, with a focus on financial and commercial aspects, in a portfolio that ranges across Renewable Energy, Waste Management, Energy Efficiency and Carbon Finance.
REFF-Wall Street Media Contacts
Turner Houston, ACORE
Travis Small, Rasky Baerlein
Diane Bussell, Euromoney Energy Events