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Mobilizing Public Markets to Finance Renewable Energy Projects: Insights from Expert Stakeholders

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Technical Report No. NREL/TP-6A20-55021

17 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2012  

Paul Schwabe

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Michael Mendelsohn

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Felix Mormann

Texas A&M University School of Law; Stanford Law School

Doug Arent

Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis

Date Written: June 1, 2012

Abstract

Financing renewable energy projects in the United States can be a complex, time consuming, and expensive process. Currently, most equity investment in new renewable power production facilities is supported by tax credits and accelerated depreciation benefits, and is constrained by the pool of potential investors that can fully use these tax benefits and are willing to engage in complex financial structures. For debt financing, non-government lending to renewables has largely been provided by foreign banks that may be under future lending constraints due to economic and regulatory conditions.

To discuss these and other renewable energy financing challenges and to identify new sources of capital to the U.S. market, two roundtable discussions were held with renewable energy and financing experts in April 2012. This report summarizes the key messages of those discussions and is designed to provide insights to the U.S. market and inform the international conversation on renewable energy financing innovations.

Keywords: renewables, energy, promotion, policy, regulation, cleantech, solar, wind, geothermal, innovation, gas, nuclear, oil, energy security, greenhouse gas, finance, investor, innovation, clean, tax credits, securitization, climate change, electricity, green, power, standardization, rating agency, retail

JEL Classification: D40, D62, E60, F01, H30, H51, H60, H70, K23, K32, L10, M13, O10, O32, O38, Q20, Q28, Q40, Q42, Q48

Suggested Citation

Schwabe, Paul and Mendelsohn, Michael and Mormann, Felix and Arent, Doug, Mobilizing Public Markets to Finance Renewable Energy Projects: Insights from Expert Stakeholders (June 1, 2012). National Renewable Energy Laboratory Technical Report No. NREL/TP-6A20-55021. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2083851

Paul Schwabe

National Renewable Energy Laboratory ( email )

1617 Cole Blvd.
Golden, CO 80401-3393
United States

Michael Mendelsohn

National Renewable Energy Laboratory ( email )

1617 Cole Blvd.
Golden, CO 80401-3393
United States

Felix Mormann (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University School of Law ( email )

1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
United States

Stanford Law School ( email )

Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

Doug Arent

Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis ( email )

15013 Denver West Parkway
Golden, CO 80401
United States

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