Getting back to my catch-up work regarding the Renewable Cities Global Learning Forum, the panel discussion below is a wonky one on innovative financing for green progress.
The moderator was Brock Carlton, CEO of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Presenters included:
- Ken Nolan, Manager of Power Resources, City Electric — Burlington, VT
- Ross Beaty, Executive Chairman, Alterra Power Corporation
- Karen Lockridge, Principal, Mercer
- Matt Zipchen, General Manager, SolarShare, TREC Renewable Energy Cooperative
Ken highlighted how Burlington financed the switch to 100% renewable electricity. “I’m here to tell you that renewables can actually reduce your cost,” was one of many gems from this presentation. Burlington’s wholesale electricity cost dropped 40% from 2009 till this presentation, as it was switching more and more to renewables. Ken’s whole presentation was quite interesting, but I particularly enjoyed how he highlighted the cost risks of fossil fuels like natural gas.
Ross highlighted the clean energy leadership of Alterra Power Corp. He provided useful insight into the type of financing Alterra and other clean energy companies use. I particularly liked his important emphasis on the predictability of electricity generation from renewables, and how that enables “lots and lots of capital available,” at very low interest rates.
Karen discussed a study on investment risks and opportunities concerning climate change.
Matt discusses exactly what you’d expect when looking at his job title — renewable energy cooperatives. It’s focused on Canadian policies, but the main lessons/ideas can extend beyond Canada.
Following the presentations were ~12 minutes of questions and answers. One particular part of that I loved was Ross Beaty’s response to a question regarding divestment, in which he emphasized that fossil fuels are now just really, really bad to investment options.
Read more of our Renewable Cities coverage for much more from this wonderful event.
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