A Capitalist Argument for Clean Energy: The Rise of Green Banks

(Andy Potts)

By Nancy Cook in the National Journal

About three years ago, Connecticut changed its approach to promoting renewable energy: It decided to act more like a bank than like a state government. Gone were many of the subsidies that had propped up the regional clean-energy market for years. In their place, Connecticut officials started to lend money to fund commercially viable green projects. The goal was to combine public financing with private loans from community banks and other financial institutions to help create a renewable-energy marketplace.

This marks a shift in the argument for clean energy from a moral to a capitalist one. “Connecticut is trying to demonstrate that clean energy is an arena where money can be made,” says Daniel Esty, the former commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and a professor at Yale Law School. “It’s not just a story about clean energy. It’s a story about cheaper, cleaner energy, and that has much broader appeal.”

Read more at the National Journal

Author: konigludwig

progressive social democrat, internationalist, conservationist

3 thoughts on “A Capitalist Argument for Clean Energy: The Rise of Green Banks”

  1. I worry about this approach. I know that clean energy is profitable but without the moral and government push, I fear it will not happen as fast as it should. Government, social and moral demand tends to make change happen faster. Just my opinion but I would like to hear the views of others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The first sentence of that second paragraph is sort of funny. I chuckled a bit when I read it for a third time: the insinuation, intended or not, that there is a distinction between morality and capitalism. Lol.

    But here is the paragraph that caught my attention:

    In 2012, Reed Hundt—a former Clinton administration official and onetime Obama adviser—founded the Coalition for Green Capital, a D.C.-based nonprofit that offers free consulting services for states interested in learning more about the green-bank phenomenon. Hundt believes the best path for renewable-energy innovation and financing lies outside the paralysis of Washington. “Energy markets are largely regional and very localized,” he says. “Most energy is made and consumed within a radius of a few hundred miles, so it makes sense to have regional and local solutions.”

    This is what change looks like. Think Global; Act Local.

    The Koch brothers’ financed groups have been attacking renewable energy development at the state level. But wouldn’t it be the irony of ironies if a market-driven solution to the mindless consumption of fossil fuels provided an alternate answer?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Konigludwig, You made me laugh. Morality & capitalism just doesn’t fit together. I am glad you understood what I was trying to say. My mind & words gets twisted but my heart is renewable:-)

      You are correct, the Koch brothers have been attacking renewable energy and winning in conservative states. I forget which state but so many citizens are using solar and it is having a big impact on reducing consumption. The green energy consumers are still using the power grid and in some cases adding power to that grid. The state leaders allowed the Koch brothers to charge green energy users higher costs. It sounded like a monthly fine. If that was my leader, I would be really angry.

      The market-driven solution is a threat to those men. I like the way you have thought this out. The market is going to win. States embracing renewable energy are finding that it is making their states more money than fossil fuels. Thank you for that reply.


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