Energy finance is one of the fastest growing areas of development finance nationwide. The steep upfront costs are a barrier to implementing energy-efficient and clean energy projects. These projects are more accessible with incentivizing financing tools. A variety of financing tools exist to encourage energy efficiency and alternative clean energy generation projects on every scale, from residential, commercial, and industrial properties to entire communities.
Energy finance has become a driving force in the economic development efforts of communities. Grants, loan guarantees, revolving loan funds, and tax credits are some of the major development tools of the energy finance sector. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is another popular, innovative tool for commercial, industrial, and residential energy projects. On-bill financing and green bonds are other emerging financing tools for renewable energy financing. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also play active roles in financing energy development. The development finance tools for funding energy projects can improve energy efficiency, provide alternative clean energy generation, or assist with large scale energy distribution.
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Financing clean energy is a fast-growing field, and successfully financing energy can catalyze the economic development efforts of communities nationwide. This section contains resources on understanding the basics of energy financing.
Solar Lending Practices by Community and Regional Financial Institutions Members only Login
Current projections of solar photovoltaic (PV) system costs and deployment in the United States indicate substantial capital requirements over the next 30 years and beyond. Concurrently, community and regional financial institutions (CRFIs), including community banks and credit unions, collectively hold $3.6 trillion in assets. These institutions could provide a significant portion of the required PV capital while creating a large investment opportunity for themselves. Looking ahead, access to additional credit and market information is critical for accelerating the role of CRFIs and other financial institutions in supporting U.S. PV growth.
Energy Investment Partnerships: What Is It & How to Get Started
CDFA and the U.S. Department of Energy have partnered to produce the Energy Investment Partnerships Webinar Series and a set of four Fact Sheets. Each Fact Sheet will summarize the best practices covered in the corresponding webinar and provides quick and easy access to the best practices and information available in the webinar.
Solar Energy Investment Tax CreditsMembers only Login
This fact sheet from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency provides a details on the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) program as it relates to solar energy. The sheet overviews the program and discusses how the tax credits can benefit banks.
Search the map below for energy finance programs by state. This specialized search is part of CDFA's State Financing Program Directory
, the only online resource cataloging the development finance programs offered by state governments. Click on a state to see a sample of state energy programs available. Login with a CDFA Member account at the top of the page to view full results.
CDFA - Frost Brown Todd LLC Infrastructure Finance Series: Public-Private Partnerships (P3) Financing for Energy
Interest in Public-Private Partnership (P3) finance is growing not only because state and the local governments realize the strength, flexibility, and efficiency of the P3 model, but because of the growing need for P3s to promote higher quality and greater coordination between public and private sectors. P3s are an asset for both capital and operating needs since projects can benefit from a private operating option and/or affordable capital provided by the bond and debt markets. When P3s are paired with bonds or other traditional financing, major energy infrastructure and related development projects become possible. Learn the different ways these renewable energy deals can be structured and the common characteristics and drivers of P3 financing throughout the country.
Seeding Climate Resilience Through Equitable InvestmentMembers only Login
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In this publication, the Center for Community Investment uses six case studies of successful climate resilience investments to surface a set of common strategies that take aim at the systems underlying the inequitable distribution of risk. Together, these case studies point to the urgency of acting quickly, strategically, and creatively to design and finance equitable climate resilience before disaster strikes—again.
CDFA-Bricker PACE Webinar Series: PACE 2.0 - The Next 10 Years
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It has been approximately 10 years since the first PACE programs began. During this workshop, our speakers provided insights related to expanding PACE assessments to benefit buildings and properties for other non-energy related improvements such as indoor air quality, lead water pipe replacement, surface stormwater mitigation, and sewer overflows.