New York, April 5, 2016 – Finance for Resilience (FiRe), a platform to crowdsource and champion new ideas to accelerate finance for clean energy, low-carbon infrastructure, and sustainable cities, today announced the four 2016 winners of its annual competition at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) Future of Energy Summit. Over 1000 energy-sector and finance leaders at the Summit voted for the top ideas from out of eight vetted finalists in a competitive pitch process.
The winners are:
- Affordable Green Homes – A private equity fund that manages and develops affordable, green housing on a commercial basis, targeting Sub-Saharan Africa. Championed by Cathal Conaty of International Housing Solutions.
- Developing Harmonized Metrics for PayGo Solar – An initiative to enable better reporting and securitization of PayGo Solar, the leading business model for distributed solar energy systems. Championed by Anna Lerner, of the World Bank Group.
- Global Renewable Independent Power Supplier (GRIPS) – A private sector entity supplying renewable energy to large commercial off-takers and surrounding communities: 24/7, grid-independent, reliable, & competitively priced. Championed by Alexander Voigt of GRIPS Energy AG.
- Investor Confidence Project – Standardizes the way energy efficiency projects are brought to market, increasing confidence in predicted returns and scaling up investments globally. Championed by Andy Darrell of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
“By winning FiRe, these ideas have already proven their credibility with top global investors,” said Michael Liebreich, Chairman of the FiRe Advisory Board and Founder of BNEF. “The next steps for them are to move into implementation, then to achieving impact at scale. FiRe is well placed to help these ideas meet their potential and drive investment in clean energy around the world.”
First incubated by BNEF, FiRe is now managed by Climate Policy Initiative, which also serves as the secretariat for The Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance (The Lab), a related initiative that has raised over 500 million USD for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and adaptation efforts in developing countries in just over a year of operation.
At the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris last December (COP21), 196 nations, hundreds of cities, and thousands of businesses worldwide committed to transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. Catalyzing new investment flows into sectors such as clean energy and green infrastructure, through innovative platforms like FiRe and the Lab, is a significant priority to implement the pledges made at COP21.
“In 2016, the biggest barriers to clean energy adoption and resilience to climate change are not technological, but financial,” said Daniel Firger, a member of the environment program at Bloomberg Philanthropies and a FiRe Advisory Board member. “After last year’s Paris Agreement on climate change, the question is how quickly businesses, cities, investors and governments will be able to finance the transition to a low-carbon economy. The innovations and ideas emerging from incubators like FiRe and The Lab are thankfully speeding up this process.”
In that context, the next phase of FiRe has a stronger focus than ever on helping winners to execute on their ideas. Winners will receive implementation support from high-level energy and finance experts, and join a growing pool of vetted initiatives emerging from FiRe and The Lab. FiRe and The Lab are also exploring avenues to collaborate more closely, increasing their impact and reach.
“I submitted to FiRe because emerging market cities will add hundreds of millions of homes in the coming decades. It’s already happening, and we have a one-time opportunity to lock in the clean and green and focus the boom on affordable green homes,” said Cathal Conaty, of International Housing Solutions, a FiRe winner who championed Affordable Green Homes. “By winning FiRe I hope to raise at least $50 million of capital from investors to double the number of affordable green homes we are producing in Africa.”
“We are looking for partners to transform cities and deliver billions of dollars in energy efficiency upgrades worldwide. With this support, Environmental Defense Fund’s Investor Confidence Project will continue building its standardized toolkit to provide investors the confidence needed to achieve environmental and financial returns,” said Andy Darrell, Chief of Strategy, Global Energy & Finance at Environmental Defense Fund, a FiRe winner.
Past FiRe initiatives include CarbonCount, which certified $118.6 million green bond offering by Hannon Armstrong this fall, and Rocky Mountain Institute, which launched its Business Renewables Center in 2015, and is now helping Fortune 500 companies like General Motors, FedEx, and Johnson & Johnson meet and exceed their renewable energy and sustainability commitments.
Finance for Resilience is a platform that collects, develops and helps implement powerful ideas to accelerate finance for clean energy, low-carbon infrastructure, and sustainable cities. Climate Policy Initiative serves as the secretariat for FiRe alongside its sister initiative, the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance (The Lab). FiRe and The Lab are funded in part by Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance provides in-kind support.
Elysha Davila, Head of Communications, Climate Policy Initiative
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