What role will coal play under Obama’s Power Africa Initiative?

Photo courtesy of E&T Magazine

Yesterday, we talked about the limited amount of financing available for coal fired power after decisions by major lending institutions and development banks. Even today, news from the Washington Post showed that investing in the US is dangerous, as Southern Co announced shareholders will absorb nearly $1 billion in losses incurred while building a new coal-fired power plant in Mississippi. But … [Read more...]

Who is going to finance coal power plants in the future?

Image courtesy of Coalswarm.org

It has been a rough few years for the coal industry as competition from natural gas and uncertainty surrounding federal regulations have significantly reduced the amount of coal burned in the US. Coal power plants are being shuttered across the country, and utilities and financial institutions are unwilling or unable to finance the construction of new coal fired power plants. The two largest coal … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

BrightSource Energy, a solar-thermal developer, raised $15 million in an equity and convertible promissory note offering with 44 unidentified investors. The company is looking to raise another $35 million in funding after raising $80 million in private equity late last year. Previous investors include BrightSource’s investors include Alstom, venture firm VantagePoint Capital Partners, DFJ, … [Read more...]

New study shows benefits of state RPS, plus a great new resource for tracking state energy legislation

Image courtesy of the Advanced Energy Economy and the Center for the New Energy Economy.

A lot of attention has been paid to the attempts by conservative interest groups to roll back state Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). Just this year, more than 30 states have voted on or considered legislation this session to change their RPS. Eight states have enacted modifications or increases to existing policies and no state has rolled back an existing standard despite the funding and … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

On-Ramp Wireless, which makes wireless monitoring gear for the electrical distribution industry, announced that it has received an additional $15 million in funding and brings the company’s total third round of funding to $31 million. The new funds came from new investor Enbridge as well as existing investors Energy Technology Ventures and Third Wave Ventures. Energy Technology Ventures is a joint … [Read more...]

Xcel criticizes Boulder’s reliance on federal tax credits for cheaper renewable energy

Xcel Energy is criticizing the City of Boulder’s attempts to form a municipal utility on several different fronts. Boulder believes it can provide greener power at lower rates than Xcel Energy and it has released studies by consultants that show how this would be feasible. Xcel maintained that Boulder relies on unrealistic assumptions and has come out with several position papers arguing that the … [Read more...]

Investor Confidence Project aims to develop multi-billion $ energy efficiency finance market

Last month, we discussed an influential new report by Ceres and the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), Power Factor: Institutional Investors’ Policy Priorities Can Bring Energy Efficiency to Scale. The report detailed several policies that if put in place, could unlock broad-based financing from institutional investors for energy efficiency, a potential several hundred billion dollar … [Read more...]

Venture Capital and Cleantech weekly update

Global investments targeting clean energy increased by 22% from the first quarter, according to the latest analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The increased interest in clean energy was driven by an upturn of financing of solar projects and wind energy investments.  This was added to a 170% increase in equity funding for specialist companies in the sector. Investment in clean energy totaled … [Read more...]

A victory in Georgia for solar….. and the Tea Party?

An odd coalition formed recently in Georgia, as environmentalists, the solar industry, and a branch of the Georgia Tea Party fought against powerful Georgia Power and the Koch brothers. And against difficult odds, this strange coalition can claim a surprising victory. This week, state regulators forced Georgia Power to expand the amount of solar energy it generates, putting the company on the … [Read more...]

Divestment from fossil fuels continues to grow after Obama’s key speech

Obama waves to the crowd after his climate speech at Georgetown University

The campaign to persuade institutional investors to divest shareholdings in fossil fuels firms has won several victories of late. With the momentum surrounding President Obama’s climate speech last month, nearly 20 mayors and city councils have made pledges to divest from fossil fuels. Now a major European bank and pension fund can be added to the list, along with significant religious … [Read more...]