Despite costs declining over the past decade, installing a clean-energy system or retrofitting for energy efficiency remains prohibitively expensive for many consumers and small businesses across the state. And that fact has led some legislators to consider a pioneering fix.
An energy committee this morning will hear the results of a study examining the viability of a Nevada green bank, a quasi-public tool for issuing loans and bonds to help fund renewable-energy projects harnessing everything from wind and solar to geothermal potential. The model comes from green banks adopted in six states, including Connecticut, New York, Hawaii, California, New Jersey and Rhode Island. While setups vary, these banks share one goal: to be a self-sustaining resource spurring investment in renewables by homeowners and companies struggling to pay for it.
Nancy Pfund, whose San Francisco-based DBL Partners invests in clean energy, said most of the companies her firm invests in, like SolarCity, are too large for green-bank funding, though at least one company she works with has benefited. But Pfund stressed that a green bank has to be part of a larger strategy around clean-energy development.
“No amount of money from a green bank is going to make the kind of difference (needed) without attention to smart policies that encourage clean-energy innovation,” Pfund said, citing Nevada’s changes to rooftop-solar rates. “You can’t send a signal out of one side of your mouth and then one signal out of another side.”
To read the full article, visit Las Vegas Sun.