Senate Passes Energy Bill and Storage Might Start Booming

April Cleantech Roundup

Clean Energy Trust’s monthly cleantech roundup recaps the most relevant information on the cleantech sector, from policy changes to technology updates and investment news. It’s all things clean energy, finance, policy, and technology.

Policy

In national news, the US Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan energy bill focused on trying to modernize our energy system.

In March, we released the results from our Clean Jobs Midwest survey. In April, Fortune Magazine picked up on that strength of the clean economy in the Midwest.  Not only are there many jobs but those jobs are growing at a much faster rate than the national average.  Much of this growth has come from Renewable Portfolio Standards that are succeeding at very low costs.  These policies have given businesses–especially small businesses–stability and the ability to plan for the future to grow, hire, and reinvest in their communities.  

Investment

Pitchbook just released a great breakdown of the current state of the US Venture Industry.  In general, the number of deals have decreased while the amount of capital being deployed is staying steady overall.  However it seems like later stage is increasing while early and angel-stage deals are decreasing.  Luckily other entities are stepping in to fill that void.  Northwestern Launches 2 Venture Funds to support future Northwestern entrepreneurs.  The N.XT Fund is a $10 million fund to encourage students and faculty to turn technology developed at the university into startups.  The second is NUseeds is a $4 million fund led by students to develop technology whether or not it was from the university.  More specifically to cleantech, as part of it’s effort to generate 50% of its electricity from renewables New York State plans to spend 150 million on clean energy projects.  These will be contracts for solar, wind, fuel cell, biogas, biomass, and hydropower.

Technology

Emissions have always been difficult to control in shipping and aviation to do fuel restrictions.  But recently there have been pushes by the industries to do more to reduce emissions. Companies like United are taking the important first steps in that endeavor.

Storage is all the rage with utilities discussing how to expand the role of energy storage in markets and SolarCity closing a $150 million securitization for commercial solar-plus-storage.  Tesla is also planning on selling massive amounts of storage to SolarCity.

Recommended Reading (and listening)

SunEdison officially files for bankruptcy and some commentary around it.

Watch Michael Liebreich’s keynote address for the 2016 Bloomberg New Energy Finance Global summit on the state of clean energy.

Vox’s David Roberts breaks down the feasibility of pollution free fossil electricity.

A Closer look at how solar securitization works.

 

By Alex Foucault | May 5, 2016