Green Banks Unlock Private Capital Investment for a Greener Future

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–January 17, 2014.  As Congress fails to act in the face of mounting climate and energy challenges, state and local leaders don’t have the luxury of standing idle. Today, the Center for American Progress released a report analyzing the growing movement to establish state green banks—innovative new financial institutions that use public resources to leverage new and significant private-sector investment in more modern and less-polluting domestic clean energy infrastructure.

“Climate change is fundamentally a crisis of investment. It is too hard today to build the clean technology and next-generation infrastructure that we need to drive innovation and create jobs and economic growth,” said Bracken Hendricks, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. “Gov. Cuomo and other state and local leaders are showing our country the way to build the smart and resilient infrastructure that American competitiveness depends on.”

New York and Connecticut are paving the way today with their green banks for new private-sector investment within robust, reliable, and expanding clean energy markets that meet the needs of a vibrant and growing economy. As clean energy technologies continue to demonstrate their growing competitiveness, they will require access to sufficient streams of affordable capital for successful commercialization. This trend is already underway through new investments in public solar companies’ and auto companies’ renewed focus on clean technologies.

Green banks are the right tools to leverage the private financing necessary to bring these technologies to wide-scale commercialization and support their competition within energy markets. Moreover, state green banks offer great potential to drive innovation, fueling local and regional economic growth and job creation.

America and the rest of the world are facing vast climate and energy challenges. State green banks are a uniquely flexible solution that can operate at the scale of this challenge to accelerate the development and deployment of next-generation technology and infrastructure that is clean, resilient, and vastly more efficient.

As our country faces the growing danger of extreme weather and climate change, it is all too clear that investment in state-of-the art clean energy infrastructure is essential for the continued strength of the U.S. economy. By advancing this financing strategy, elected officials and regulatory agencies can take bold action to ensure the economic vitality and long-term interests of their citizens, consumers, and ratepayers. The launch of the New York Green Bank represents a bold next step in this growing national movement.

Read the report: Banking on Clean Energy: State Leadership in Financing a Greener Future by Bracken Hendricks and Ben Bovarnick