Bill Clinton calls for global fund to reform ‘unequal’ energy finance

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Former US president Bill Clinton has called for global investment in renewable energy and changes to the “inequality” of current financing mechanisms in the energy sector.

At the ThomasLloyd Clean Tech Congress Europe in Frankfurt last week, Clinton highlighted long-term finance options is “what we do with traditional energy and coal fire power plants”, whereas currently investors and providers of solar and wind have to provide “all the money upfront”.

Clinton argued that no one has “explained to people adequately” that there is “inequality in financing opportunities” for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

At the forum for European investors on 24 January, titled ‘Meet Asia. Meet renewable energy’s future’, Clinton told investors an “analytical and actual financing framework” enabling capital investment in clean energy and efficiency should be financed over “the life of the benefits”.

Explaining further, Clinton used US nuclear and coal plants as an example of unequal financing in the energy sector: “In the US if you want to build a nuclear power plant you get 30 years to pay for it with guaranteed rates from the consumers, and since no insurance company will insure one, the government basically insures the whole operation – that’s a massive subsidy.”

He argued the financial case for renewable energy is not being made strongly enough, and long term financing mechanisms should be introduced the same as for traditional energy.

Criticising current models Clinton used Germany as an example. “If you want to get [renewables] in a hurry, you have to do what Germany did and give very large subsidies, which costs taxpayers lots of money and eventually they get impatient in tough times,” he said.

As an alternative, Clinton suggested “a global financing facility” for renewable energy similar to the ‘Global Fund’.

The Global Fund was set up in 2002 after being initiated by Kofi Annan, former secretary-general of the United Nations. The Global Fund is an international financing institution dedicated to financing operations combating AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

By using long-term finance solutions Clinton said “all our subsidies could be much smaller”.

Specifically on the theme of Europe investing in renewable energy in Asia, Clinton said: “Asia is the logical place for Europe with its technological and financial resources to build partnerships that will save the planet for our children and grandchildren.” 

Listing the economic growth predicted for Asia – attractive human capital and governments “capable of making a decision not affected by the old politics of the energy economy”- Clinton said renewable investment in Asia is “a good bet”.

Clinton also encouraged investors at the forum to pursue renewable energy investments and carry on research to gain from “enormous opportunities” from countries with high solar potential and high electricity costs from importing fossil fuels

Throughout his speech Clinton highlighted the importance of inter-nation dependence, inclusion, collaboration and cooperation of nations, in helping develop renewable energy and provide investment for the sector.

The former US president ended by telling investors they are “Right in the heart of what could prove to be not just the most important economic movement, but also a profoundly important political, social and public health movement; we should be moving into the most peaceful prosperous and fascinating time in human history.”

Help for developing countries

Also speaking at the event, senior Philippines senator Loren Legarda called for developed countries to “put their money where there mouth is” and invest in clean technology, energy efficiency and natural disaster prevention, arguing that long-term investment was needed to avoid widespread loss of life due to climate change.

Legarda singled out developed countries as accounting for a “significant part of carbon emissions”.

She highlighted the biggest obstacle for renewable energy’s development as the Green Climate Fund, agreed at Copenhagen in 2009 by the United Nations framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC), which she claimed had yet “to be actually funded”.

While being questioned by German journalist and TV presenter Sabine Christiansen after speaking, Legarda said: “I challenge developed countries, and those that cause the pollution of our planet and of our earth, to put their money where there mouth is, and to allow small island states and vulnerable states to access the Green Climate Fund.”

Legarda criticised Copenhagen 2009 as having “so much talk, so much talk!” and called for climate change action.

The senator said disaster risk reduction is “everybody’s business” and that more visible action from the business community is required. “It is not enough for businesses to offer clean technology solutions. You need to make these technologies available, especially to developing countries, with the long-term survival of these countries in mind”.

Legarda highlighted the outfall from last year’s super-typhoon Haiyan, which led to 6,000 deaths and caused damage estimated at US$12.9 billion. She said: “What do you want to see? Loss of lives? What do you want to see: a focus on reconstruction and rehabilitation and investment in clean energy and a more sustainable future?”

Legarda ended her keynote speech by saying: “My hope is for world leaders to lead their respective nations in cutting down on pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, reducing fossil fuel consumption, promoting the use of renewable energy, and assisting developing nations that are most vulnerable to the effects of environmental degradation and climate change.”

26 January 2022
Join this free webinar for our analysis of the growth of N-Type technology including; new capacity expansions and production output. We'll also be looking at the global manufacturing footprint with forecasts on how much product will be made outside of China this year and which companies are driving technology change across the crystalline silicon value chain.
23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.
7 March 2022
Take your chance to join the most powerful platform in the MENA region. Middle East Energy (MEE), Intersolar, and ees, the leading energy exhibitions are joining hands to co-deliver an outstanding renewables and energy storage event at Middle East Energy 2021. Renewables and energy storage at MEE is the largest gathering of solar and renewable energy industry professionals in the Middle East & Africa, offering the most effective trade focused platform to international manufacturers and distributors looking to meet regional buyers.
8 March 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 March 2022
When it comes to storage, the US market exceeded a gigawatt of advanced energy storage installations (weighted towards lithium ion) at 1.46 GW, more than the previous six years in total! An exponential growth rate could see the market hit 7.5 GW p.a. by 2025. The summit will provide a wealth of content around this vital piece in the US power puzzle, with sessions dedicated to explore how companies are making money from batteries, the latest chemistries and their applications as they apply to different use-cases. We ask how investors can match ESG criteria to batteries and we will bring case studies of successful deployment and project execution onto the stage to examine how you can ensure your own projects are successful.
29 March 2022
Now in its 10th sell-out year, Large Scale Solar returns to Lisbon in 2022. We are excited to gather together face-to-face with the European solar industry as we provide unique and exclusive access to a powerful selection of the market's key stakeholders. Join this elite summit to find out how the market is maturing, which new markets are becoming more exciting, how technology is evolving and who's driving the market forward into the 2020s. Always senior, packed with developers, EPCs, utilities and investors this is the event for companies serious about European solar PV.

Read Next

January 18, 2022
Hive Hydrogen and Linde plc have teamed up to establish the “world’s largest green ammonia export plant” in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa that will have a 780,000 ton/year production capacity.
January 18, 2022
Corporate funding in the global solar sector reached a ten-year high in 2021 as the industry recovered from a COVID-affected 2020, new research from Mercom Capital Group reveals.
January 17, 2022
A round-up of the latest projects news, including EDP Renewables completing Indiana’s largest PV project, two Gulf utility companies pricing their first green bonds and an Australian utility linking its project to the national grid.
January 17, 2022
US independent power producer DESRI is planning to raise up to US$100 million in an initial public offering (IPO) that will see the company listed on the Nasdaq.
January 17, 2022
Solar module manufacturer Seraphim has launched its new S5 series of high-efficiency PV modules with a maximum power output of up to 670W and an efficiency of 21.57%.
January 17, 2022
Oman has signed an agreement with energy major bp that will support the potential development of multiple gigawatts of renewables and green hydrogen in the Middle Eastern country by 2030.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
January 26, 2022
Free Webinar
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal