Today, mitigating the impact of damaging greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the impending effects of atmospheric change are widely accepted social goods. In most circles, people agree that reducing fossil energy use through conservation and zero-emissions strategies is desirable. They augur well for future generations and simultaneously improve the current financial operations of enterprises, expanding economic opportunity. Despite this, investment in energy efficiency is stalled. McKinsey says that it is about one-fifth of its economically-justified potential. Financial decision makers give preference to more strategic capital projects. Investors do not consider energy efficiency returns to have either the security or the reliability of bonds. Why is this? What is wrong with the quality of efficiency investment returns? How can we change the way decisions are made? How can we make investment in more enlightened energy strategies attractive to investors?
MY LATEST WORK
Financing private-sector building efficiency by improving project bankability and expanding enterprise borrowing capacity without placing limits on other financial options.
How to scale public-sector investment in efficiency, renewable energy, district energy, and energy infrastructure resiliency projects by re-imagining municipal budgeting and finance to better meet the needs of investors.
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Mandates are only marginally effective because these things cost money. Incentives are inadequate because even the most generous programs barely scratch the surface. Implementation is hampered by balance sheets that limit financial options. One important way over the hurdle is to expand those options by way of a self liquidating source of capital for mitigation and adaptation measures (efficiency, alternative energy, energy infrastructure resiliency) that is not otherwise available. Achieving that goal, whether in institutions or municipal jurisdictions, requires a level of technical assistance and organizational development, essentially bone crushing training of officials responsible for finance, law, procurement, budgeting, project management, and operations. When successful, the work moves organizations beyond mandates, incentives, and philanthropy toward more sustainable market-based models and mechanisms. Leading jurisdictions around the world have made the transition and institutionalized the changes, most recently the City of Boston. As the case studies below demonstrate, the impact has been remarkable.