The panel convened on 11 March to choose eight finalists from the top 24 proposals that had already passed the initial screening. The finalists are proposing cutting-edge financial tools and approaches for tackling barriers to the financing of clean energy and climate projects. The shortlist includes opportunities in energy efficiency, distributed systems, risk management and securitisation (see the complete list below).
The group of eight finalists will present at the BNEF Summit, to be held on 13-15 April in New York, where the audience will choose three to four winners for the FiRe initiative to support.
Michael Liebreich, founder and chairman of Finance for Resilience, said, “This was a very strong year for submissions. In year two of FiRe, the number and quality has improved, and we had a fantastic day reviewing them with our selection panel. Among the finalists are some great ideas for accelerating the financing of projects and also climate-related investment in cities.”
Lela Jgerenaia, project leader for Finance for Resilience, added, “Our new eight finalists identified key challenges in the global energy market and proposed novel but executable ideas that will provide value to investors and help project developers get access to financing.”
Since FiRe’s launch in 2013, the initiative has helped its six winners from 2014 to implement their ideas. The ‘champions’ representing each of these winning ideas have made tremendous progress against their milestones, rolling out pilots, executing new deals and setting up new collaborations. To name but two, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development raised $2m for its energy efficiency intervention and the Rocky Mountain Institute launched its Business Renewables Center. FiRe’s scope was expanded this year to cover specific interventions related to energy efficiency, cities & municipalities and distributed energy. Below are the eight finalists for 2015:
Workstream 1: distributed solutions
• Create new standards to encourage connectable, scalable, DC microgrids, and therefore the spread of electrical goods, electronically controlled devices, and communications access for less developed countries
• Expand the deployment of distributed solar technology in developing countries through the introduction of solar lease financing
• Open access to $10bn in financing for cost-effective, distributed energy resources to customers of utilities that implement a voluntary tariff for energy efficiency and renewable energy
• Expand renewable energy to 1.5m Southern European farms, leveraging standard contracts, best practices, and robust datasets, and pooling cash flows into liquid debt securities
Workstream 2: cities/municipalities
• Establish a public-private partnership to implement energy-efficient, low-carbon municipal infrastructure using a ‘performance contracting’ model
• Develop and apply a framework that monetises future avoided losses from extreme weather events, in order to help implement climate adaptation infrastructure
Workstream 3: architecture for finance
• Grow the market for “green” bonds by providing a consistent measure of avoided carbon emissions per dollar of investment
• Lower transactional soft costs for commercial clean energy projects and promote clean energy asset securitisation by scoring risks in a standardised way