Energy Finance Report

Van Hilderbrand

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The New Gold Standard for Building Performance - PEER

Posted by Van Hilderbrand on 7/19/16 10:20 AM

Co-authors Jeffrey M. Karp and Morgan M. Gerard 

Electricity-grid vulnerabilities were deeply exposed in the wake of Superstorm Sandy and its associated storm surge, as a single outage at a substation caused a sweeping black-out across downtown Manhattan, New York. Making matters worse, climate change science anticipates that future storms will be both stronger and more frequent.  To facilitate and improve the security, resiliency, and reliability of the macrogrid system, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has developed PEER, Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal, the nation’s first comprehensive, consumer-centric, data-driven tool for evaluating power system performance. 

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Topics: Distributed Energy, Renewable Energy, United States Green Building Council, USGBC, LEED, Resiliency, Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal, PEER

Update: Confluence of Emissions Regulations Favor Renewable Energy Development

Posted by Van Hilderbrand on 7/1/16 12:29 PM


This posts continues our discussion regarding the status of several major recent regulations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that target reductions in emissions from the oil, natural gas, and coal industries, and how these regulations will drive increased investment in cleaner and renewable energy. In particular it provides updates to Part 1 in this series on EPA’s Carbon Pollution Standards for New, Modified, and Reconstructed Power Plants and Part 2 on EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).

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Confluence of Emissions Regulations Favor Renewable Energy Investment (Part 2)

Posted by Van Hilderbrand on 5/24/16 12:01 PM

In yesterday’s Part 1, we discussed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rules regulating emissions from existing and new stationary electricity generating units. In today’s post, we discuss EPA’s regulations regarding emissions of mercury and air toxics, and emissions of methane and other volatile organic compounds.

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Topics: Renewable Energy, Mercury Air Toxics Standards, Methane Emissions Standards

Confluence of Emissions Regulations Favor Renewable Energy Investment (Part 1)

Posted by Van Hilderbrand on 5/23/16 3:39 PM

GOP Presidential Candidate Donald Trump made several sweeping promises while on the campaign trail vowing to reopen shuttered mines and bring coal back to its dominance of a decade ago. These promises, however, are dated as the coal industry continues to face multiple hurdles: (1) greater availability of affordable natural gas and renewable resources; (2) stricter emissions standards for fossil-fuel fired electricity generating sources; and as a result, (3) reluctance in the investor community to finance new coal projects.  What candidates on both sides of the political spectrum could say is that, although the mines will close, the country remains dedicated to training displaced miners to work in a new renewable energy future.

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Topics: Renewable Energy, clean power plan, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, renewable energy investment, new stationary source rule, existing stationary source rule

India Considers Coupling its Government Incentives with Innovative Financing Mechanisms to Achieve its Aggressive Renewable Energy Targets

Posted by Van Hilderbrand on 5/7/16 12:33 PM

Co-author Morgan M. Gerard

India’s story for the last decade has been one of rapid industrialization and a growing thirst for energy, regardless of the carbon profile of the energy source. As the world moves towards carbon conscious energy generation, there has been a global push to direct this rapid industrializer towards more low- and zero-emission sources.

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Topics: Green Bonds, Renewable Energy, India Green Bank, India, India Green Bond, Green Bank, India Renewable Energy

Apple Leads the Way as Green Bonds Set to Grow in 2016

Posted by Van Hilderbrand on 3/4/16 3:04 PM

Co-author Morgan M. Gerard

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Topics: Green Bonds, Renewable Energy, Green Energy, Distributed Generaton, Renewable Energy 2016, Apple

With Proper Policies, A $12.1 Trillion Investment Opportunity for Renewable Energy Can Be Realized

Posted by Van Hilderbrand on 2/19/16 1:20 PM

Co-author Morgan M. Gerard

Despite the currently low prices of oil and natural gas, renewable electric power generation is poised for rapid growth. Based on a “business-as-usual” scenario, Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s New Energy Outlook, June 2015 predicted a $6.9 trillion investment in new renewable electric power generation over the next 25 years. A newly published report by Ceres, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and Ken Locklin, Managing Director for Impax Asset Management LLC, predicts a much greater opportunity for private sector companies and commercial financiers to invest in new renewable energy.

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Topics: Carbon Emissions, Biomass, Solar Energy, Renewable Energy, COP21, ITC, Energy Investment, Investment Tax Credit, renewable energy investment, PTC, carbon tax, Wind Energy, Climate change, Ceres, United Nations, UNFCCC, production tax credit, cap-and-trade, renewable portfolio standard, feed-in-tariff, COP22, carbon pricing

A High Stakes Game—COP 21 and Climate Policy in the United States

Posted by Van Hilderbrand on 12/9/15 4:38 PM

Co-author Morgan Gerard

“Never have the stakes been so high because this is about the future of the planet, the future of life” notes French President Francois Hollande with respect to the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21). Representatives from more than 190 nations are currently gathered in Paris to discuss a possible new global agreement on climate change, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Global emissions have steadily increased over the past 15 years, but according to a study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change and presented at COP 21, global emissions from fossil-based fuels and industry are likely to have fallen 0.6 percent in 2015, even as the world’s economy has grown. The representatives attending the conference hope to capitalize on this opportunity and continue the work to reduce emissions.

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Topics: Energy Policy, Renewable Energy, COP21

Tech Update: Another Use for EV Batteries?

Posted by Van Hilderbrand on 12/3/15 4:28 PM

Co-author Emma Spath

In the midst of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011, electric vehicle (EV) batteries were used in an unusual and innovative way—as energy storage.  The earthquake caused a plant shutdown, but the following Tsunami waters damaged the back-up diesel generators responsible for cooling the plant’s systems.  Many do not realize that as the situation in the nuclear reactors became increasingly dire and with no ability to generate power onsite, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) brought in fully-charged EV batteries to supply electricity, restart the pumps, and reestablish steady water circulation for cooling.  Fukushima demonstrated to the world that EV batteries can not only be used for transportation, but also as mobile power sources able to resupply the power grid.

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Topics: Energy Storage, Renewable Energy, Electric Vehicles

Managing the Rise of Distributed Energy - Emerging Utility Trends

Posted by Van Hilderbrand on 8/19/15 11:39 AM

Co-author Morgan Gerard

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Topics: Utilities, NY REV, Energy Policy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Finance, Distributed Energy, Energy Management, Solar Energy, Renewable Energy

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The Energy Finance Report analyzes developments in energy finance as well as provides updates and perspectives on market trends and policies.

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