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.

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