Agents of Impact Call roundup: Green infrastructure is back on the agenda (replay). The action in climate action is in infrastructure. Falling price curves for renewables and the persistence of mispriced risk means investors can still find opportunities in distributed solar and wind power, waste-to-energy facilities, wastewater systems and sustainable agriculture. “Climate adaptation is enabled by technology, but will be executed in infrastructure,” Equilibrium Capital’s Dave Chen said on ImpactAlpha’s Agents of Impact Call No. 19. Packaged as stimulus for the economic recovery, policy can accelerate the shift to climate-friendly infrastructure. The $1.5 trillion Moving Forward Act, released this week by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, would invest in sustainable infrastructure and extend wind and solar tax incentives set to expire next year. “The need is there, the vehicles are there, and possibly even the political will could be there for what would be a massive infrastructure rebuild,” said ImpactAlpha’s David Bank. “It’s all kind of queued up.”
On The Call, the Climate Policy Initiative’s Barbara Buchner said nearly $7 trillion per year will be required through 2030 to meet sustainable infrastructure needs. Annual global climate spending has remained flat at about $500 billion. “We are falling far short of the mark,” Buchner said. Investors don’t need to wait for a Green New Deal to move private capital. David Sher of Greenbacker Capital, which sponsored The Call, said his firm has looked at over a gigawatt worth of renewable energy deals in the last month alone. Since 2011, the firm has invested $800 million in 172 commercial solar and wind projects in North America, generating “good, solid returns” for investors in assets he calls “boring” – in a good way. Caprock Group’s Matthew Weatherley-White said there continue to be “pockets of mispriced risk” throughout the energy value chain, even in mature, lower-risk assets like wind and solar. Market signals, from the lower cost of capital for renewable energy developers to devalued oil, are clear, the panelists agreed. Green energy investments are expected to account for 25% of all energy spending next year, surpassing spending on oil and gas for the first time.
Keep reading, “Agents of Impact Call roundup: Green infrastructure is back on the agenda,” by Amy Cortese on ImpactAlpha.