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U.S. Energy Department Highlights ‘State Investment Bank Successes’

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A report from the United States Department of Energy was released this week, examining the financing mechanisms of Green Banks adopted by eight states. The report was released in sync with the announcement of the first ever global Green Bank Network at the Paris Climate Talks.

Hawai’i is among the eight states, including California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Oregon that encourages the investment in clean energy, energy efficiency, and resilient infrastructure.

The report, titled “Energy Investment Partnerships: How State and Local Governments Are Engaging Private Capital to Drive Clean Energy Investments” by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, shows how states and entities are driving clean energy deployment through leveraging private capital.

Energy Investment Partnerships, or “green banks,” are emerging public-private partnerships with the authority to raise capital through more than one source.

According to the Energy Department, these partnerships are an important factor in the mobilization of the public and private capital that’s necessary to move energy towards a low carbon economy.

“By leveraging private dollars, states with EIPs can generate an impact well beyond what would be possible with public funds alone,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “To reduce carbon emissions and address the impacts of climate change and extreme weather, we need innovative financing solutions that will increase energy efficiency, bring more low carbon generation on line, and make our infrastructure more resilient.”

The announcement of the first ever global Green Bank Network on Monday at the Paris Climate Talks was built on actions the Administration had taken earlier in the year to support EIPS, according to the Department of Energy.

In June 2015, the White House hosted a roundtable on Green and Clean Energy Banks; which was followed the next month by President Barrack Obama’s announcement that the DOE’s Loan Programs Office has issued new guidance, clarifying that distributed energy products could be eligible under the Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program. The announcement meant that state-affiliated financial entities, including EIPs, could submit applications.

“Hawai’i’s goal of achieving a 100 percent renewable portfolio standard in the electricity sector by 2045 will require significant amounts of capital to finance clean energy infrastructure,” said Luis Salaveria, director of the Hawai’i Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. “Hawai’i’s Green Energy Market Securitization program and other public-private initiatives outlines in this report illustrate the importance of developing new and innovative financing tools driven to clean energy investment.”


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