A bill proposed by US Congressman Chris Van Hollen, allowing Green Bank to finance clean energy projects that are energy efficient has been favoured by the Coalition for Green Bank (CGB). CGB is a consortium of energy industry leaders promoting a new era of private investment in the green energy for clean and sustainable energy and jobs, and economic development.
The plan will initially give Green Bank US$10 billon and allow it to be an independent, tax-exempt, wholly owned corporation of the US, with a maximum authorized limit of US$50 billion. It is estimated that 15GW of renewable energy can result from the initial capitalization, reducing annual energy costs by US$22.5 billion. The initiative is also expected to reduce carbon emissions by 29.6 million tons.
Despite a struggling economy, the CGB states the bill will act as a stimulus for a cleaner energy future in the US and will make it easier to invest in the green economy, which in turn will allow the country to rely less on fossil and foreign sources for energy. By transitioning a carbon-based economy into a clean energy economy, the effects of climate changed will be reduced and up to 1.5 million new and permanent jobs will be created, including many in the development of renewable generation projects, component factories, transmission and distribution facilities, smart grid technologies, energy efficiency, and hardware and software components used in each of these types of projects.
Todd Filsinger, co-chair of CGB and Global Head of PA Consulting Group’s Energy Capital Markets said, “The environmental benefits [of Green Bank] are unprecedented and have the potential to drive US emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.”
The Green Bank Act of 2009 allows the bank to issue “green bonds” backed by the US government aiding the funding of qualified energy and energy efficiency projects such as wind farms and solar installations, transmission lines, manufacturing plants, and energy efficiency programs. The Green Bank will work alongside the private sector to foster more access to renewable power. It will also allow the funding of long-term clean energy purchasing by governmental and non-governmental not-for-profit entities to ensure wide distribution of clean energy throughout the US.
While the country may have an abundant source of multiple types of renewable energy, accessing these resources are not as simple. The Green Bank Act of 2009 allows private companies in the US to take full advantage of renewable energy.