At REFF-​​Wall Street Industry Leaders Highlight the Maturation of Renewable Energy Capital Markets as Traditional Energy Sectors Transform

Renewable Biz
June 26, 2015


At the Renew­able Energy Finance Forum-​​Wall Street (REFF-​​Wall Street), hosted by the Amer­i­can Coun­cil On Renew­able Energy (ACORE) and Euromoney Sem­i­nars, finan­cial, pol­icy and indus­try lead­ers gath­ered to explore height­ened demand for clean energy financ­ing cov­er­ing a range of oppor­tu­ni­ties from community-​​scale renew­able energy projects to energy stor­age to new util­ity busi­ness models.

This year’s con­fer­ence fea­tured more than 60 high-​​profile speak­ers and experts in the grow­ing renew­able energy indus­try, along with over 600 del­e­gates includ­ing CEOs, lenders, invest­ment bankers, pri­vate equity investors, ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists, lawyers and other top trans­ac­tional pro­fes­sion­als from both the pub­lic and pri­vate sectors.

As we mark the 12th year of REFF-​​Wall Street, we showed that what we used to call ‘alter­na­tive energy’ has now entered the main­stream — in a big way,” said Dan Reicher, Interim Pres­i­dent and CEO of ACORE, and the Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Steyer-​​Taylor Cen­ter for Energy Pol­icy & Finance at Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity. “And while the pol­icy play­ing field is tricky right now, savvy investors are find­ing smart paths across it.”

Lower cost of cap­i­tal was a dom­i­nant theme this year, dri­ving down devel­op­ment costs and fuel­ing inter­est for a wide range of investors, from pub­lic equity investors seek­ing the sta­bil­ity of a yieldco or com­mer­cial lenders who are now enabled to make bet­ter informed deci­sions. How­ever, not every devel­op­ment in the renew­able energy indus­try this year is about mar­ket matu­rity. REFF high­lighted many states, most notably New York, Cal­i­for­nia, and Hawaii, for lead­er­ship in rethink­ing tra­di­tional util­ity and energy busi­ness mod­els. State pol­i­cy­mak­ers and pri­vate sec­tor part­ners are look­ing for ways to com­bine tech­nol­ogy and pol­icy inno­va­tion that will drive new busi­ness mod­els, enabling the deploy­ment of smart grid tech­nolo­gies to drive improved effi­ciency, reli­a­bil­ity and the deploy­ment of dis­trib­uted renew­able energy resources.

Gov­er­nor Cuomo’s new energy ini­tia­tive Reform­ing the Energy Vision (REV), is spurring clean energy inno­va­tion and pri­vate invest­ment to build a health­ier and stronger econ­omy,” said Richard Kauff­man, Chair­man of Energy and Finance for New York State. “REFF-​​Wall Street encour­ages a dia­logue among the renew­able energy financ­ing com­mu­nity and advances the progress of REV through crit­i­cal public-​​private part­ner­ships sup­port­ing eco­nomic growth, job cre­ation, and envi­ron­men­tal protection.

At this year’s REFF-​​Wall Street, sev­eral speak­ers includ­ing Richard Kauff­man dur­ing his keynote remarks, explored how the increas­ing shift toward a decen­tral­ized, dig­i­tized and consumer-​​centric model is poised to unleash a new wave of pri­vate or market-​​based invest­ment. In addi­tion to this indus­try trans­for­ma­tion, many of the speak­ers and ses­sions ana­lyzed the explo­sive growth of renew­able energy as a strong asset class with an expand­ing field of investors. A timely illus­tra­tion of mar­ket enthu­si­asm came just one day before REFF-​​Wall Street, when REFF Co-​​chair Ira Ehren­preis of DBL Part­ners, announced the firm’s clos­ing of DBL Part­ners III — a $400 mil­lion impact fund focused on invest­ments that com­bine value and val­ues. The fund is among the largest clean tech ven­ture funds raised in the past sev­eral years.

To read the full arti­cle, visit Renew­able Biz