Market Analysis Insights

Michael Mendelsohn's picture

The LCOE Impact of Public Capital Vehicles

Improving the availability of capital to renewable energy (RE) projects represents a critical component to lowering the overall cost and scaling the adoption of RE technologies. Public capital—investment raised in the financial markets through securitized instruments and pooled investment vehicles—is a potential means of achieving these goals.

Michael Mendelsohn's picture

A Transition to a Securitized Market? Perhaps Credit Enhancements Offer an Opportunity to Leverage Market Investment

How does the solar industry transition from the current project-based financing structure to one where more capital is available at faster speed and lower cost [1]? That was the question discussed by various industry stakeholders in a recent meeting of the Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group convened by NREL. The answer the industry seeks might lie in public capital vehicles, such as asset-backed securities, master limited partnerships, and other mechanisms designed to pool projects and allow investment via a liquid, tradable product.  These vehicles could increase the availability of capital because they represent a simpler and lower-cost mechanism for investors, such as pension and insurance funds, to commit capital to solar projects [2].

Travis Lowder's picture

Risk and Finance in the PV Industry

Emerging from the 2008 financial crisis with new incentives, innovative business models, and rapidly declining costs, photovoltaics (PV) have gone on to achieve installation at rates unprecedented in their 40 year-long U.S. commercial history. And, despite some headwinds, PV deployment will likely see sustained levels of investment and deployment in the near term.

Paul Schwabe's picture

Green Cards for Green Watts

In the 1990 Golden Globe winning film "Green Card," Frenchman (and recent Russian resident) Gerard Depardieu and American Andie McDowell enter into a farcical marriage of convenience so he can become a U.S.

U.S. Power Sector Undergoes Dramatic Shift in Generation Mix

The U.S. electric power sector has recently undergone perhaps the most dramatic structural shift in history dating back to World War II.  Changes in generation mix have occurred primarily due to low-priced natural gas, but also to rapid growth in renewable output.

Travis Lowder's picture

Emerging Markets: The Next Frontier for PV Developers?

Emerging markets have been hot investment opportunities since the end of the Cold War and with the rapid globalization of the late 20th century. Now the solar industry, looking for lifelines outside of its bread-and-butter markets of Europe and the U.S., is also getting in to the emerging markets game.

Michael Mendelsohn's picture

Recapture Rapture: Can Revised Tax Credit Policies Attract More Capital to Solar?

For developers trying to monetize the federal tax benefits for a given project, finding a tax equity partner can be a lonely process. Tax equity investors consist of a limited pool of suitors—investment bankers and a few other firms—who can tolerate the array of risks associated with this type of investment, including:

Paul Schwabe's picture

NREL’s Geothermal JEDI: Less Intimidating Than That Other JEDI

For most people, the word "JEDI" conjures up images of distant galaxies, epic light-saber battles, fuzzy Ewoks, and fatherly plot twists. For us here at NREL, however, JEDI is more likely associated with a series of models rather than a series of movies.

Travis Lowder's picture

Drilling for Dollars: Notable Developments in Geothermal Finance

Geothermal capacity additions are on track to top 100 MW in 2012, making this year one of the best for geothermal deployment in the last decade [1,2]. This could be a tentative sign that conditions have been improving for geothermal finance (traditionally, finance has been one of the principal barriers to the technology's wider adoption).

Travis Lowder's picture

To Insure or Not to Insure: PV’s New Fangled Warranty Insurance Option

It is no secret that the last couple years have been rough for PV manufacturers globally. Panel makers have had to contend with compressed profit margins and an oversaturated market, both of which have driven many firms to shutter operations and enter into bankruptcy protection.