How infrastructure is banking on green banks

BY Heather Clancy, — 03/25/2021

Green Biz released an article on U.S. states evaluating the creation of green banks — financing institutions created with the explicit mission of combining public and private funds to invest in climate solutions and green infrastructure. The proposed focus of that public-private money would be on renewables, energy storage, transportation, resiliency measures, efficiency, reforestation, agriculture, and industrial decarbonization.

The article can be found here.

Here is an excerpt that features SELF:

State-level green bank pioneers predominantly have focused on small-scale solar development and energy efficiency projects — often with a focus on smaller projects that serve low-income or “unbanked” communities, and always in lockstep with the priorities of local authorities such as renewable portfolio standards. 

The nonprofit Solar and Energy Loan Fund in Florida, for example, started with energy but expanded its lending products in 2019 to include financing for things such as roof repairs, hurricane shutters, septic-to-sewer conversions, and other measures meant to improve resilience. Connecticut is seeking projects focused on alternative-fuel vehicles and associated infrastructure, and the governor plans to expand the green bank’s mandate to cover infrastructure meant to shore up resilience — including everything from water, waste, and recycling infrastructure to land conservation initiatives and nature-based solutions for carbon sequestration. “It’s an all-inclusive mitigation and adaptation toolset,” Garcia said. 

A national-level focus on green and resilient infrastructure is spurring local interest in projects such as electric vehicle charging infrastructure and microgrids, observed Mary Templeton, president, and CEO of Michigan Saves. “These are really expensive projects,” she said. “Access to low-cost capital could really accelerate that.”

The article can be found here.

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