United States

Transitional Foreign Exchange Debt Platform: Paths to Enable Foreign Currency Debt to the Rooftop Solar Sector in India

June, 2018

Low access to debt capital remains one of the key barriers to achieving the Indian government’s target of 40GW of rooftop solar installations by 2022. Foreign capital can help bridge the gap in debt availability for rooftop solar, however, foreign currency debt exposes rooftop solar project sponsors to the risk of foreign exchange rate fluctuation...
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Transitional Foreign Exchange Debt Platform_Paths to Enable Foreign Currency Debt to the Rooftop Solar Sector in India(1.5 MB)

Markets for low carbon, low cost electricity systems (working paper)

October, 2017



Today we are publishing a working paper on the future design of the energy market as part of a program ...
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CPI Markets for low carbon low cost electricity systems October 2017(477.9 kb)

Financing clean power: a risk-based approach to choosing ownership models and policy & finance instruments

September, 2017

This week we publish a working paper setting out a framework for: (i) determining how risks for power investments should ...
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Financing clean power a risk-based approach Sept 2017(1.1 MB)

Clean Energy Investment Trust: financial innovation for pension funds & insurers

August, 2017

This week we launch our design for an investment-grade financing vehicle targeted at institutional investors that reduces the cost of ...
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August 2017 CPI Energy Finance CEIT Structuring report final(637.4 kb)

Overcoming barriers to institutional investments in renewables

August, 2017

Since the financial crisis in 2008, interest in matching the predictable long-term liabilities of institutional investors with the low-risk cashflows ...
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August 2017 CPI Energy Finance CEIT Barriers report final(319.5 kb)

Flexibility: the path to low-carbon, low-cost electricity grids

April, 2017

Wind and solar have become established resources for low-carbon electricity around the world. Cost declines for those technologies now allow ...
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CPI Energy Finance – Flexibility: the path to low carbon low cost grids April 2017(1.0 MB)

Beyond YieldCos

June, 2016

US-based YieldCos, such as Terraform Power and NRG Yield, raised equity worth $23 billion dollars by mid-2015, only to see their share prices fall by as much as 60% just a few months later. The rise and fall of new investment ideas nearly always provides valuable lessons, and the US YieldCos are no exception.
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Beyond YieldCos – Full Report(672.5 kb)

Getting the most from your green: An approach to using public money effectively through green banks and other low-carbon financing

December, 2015

This document addresses the effective uses of public financial interventions for low carbon projects. It provides an overview of Climate Policy Initiative’s (CPI’s) approach
to determining the most efficient ways in which green banking and other public financial interventions could support the transition to a low-carbon economy.
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Getting the Most from Your Green- An Approach to Using Public Money Effectively Through Green Banks and Other Low-Carbon Financing(834.6 kb)

The Landscape of Climate Exposure for Investors

August, 2015

Climate change has financial implications for investors – presenting significant portfolio risks as well as new market opportunities. This paper explores the landscape of climate exposure and examines the strengths as well as some of the current limitations of ESG data, tools, and financial products.
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The Landscape of Climate Exposure for Investors_full report(697.6 kb)
The Landscape of Climate Exposure for Investors_slide deck(825.4 kb)

Moving to a Low-Carbon Economy

October, 2014

With the right policies, the transition to a low-carbon energy system consistent with avoiding the most damaging effects of climate change could free up trillions of dollars over the next 20 years to invest in better economic growth.
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Regional Fact Sheets: Moving to a Low-Carbon Economy(87.0 kb)
Moving to a Low-Carbon Economy: The Financial Impact of the Low-Carbon Transition(715.1 kb)
Moving to a Low-Carbon Economy: The Impacts of Policy Pathways on Fossil Fuel Asset Values(2.3 MB)

Cap and Trade in Practice: Barriers and Opportunities for Industrial Emissions Reductions in California

July, 2014

California is both one of the largest economies and one of the largest emitters globally, making its climate change policies some of the most important in the world. They are also some of the most ambitious. In particular, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32) set a series of policies and programs across all major business sectors to return California emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. A key component of this set of policies is the Cap and Trade Program...
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Cap and Trade in Practice – Full Report(901.0 kb)
Cap and Trade in Practice – Slide Deck(2.0 MB)

Getting the most from your green: A case study for using public money effectively for large-scale renewable energy in California

July, 2014

This brief illustrates CPI’s approach to identifying effective uses of public financial interventions for low-carbon projects. It presents our analysis of the financial barriers affecting large-scale renewable energy in California.
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Getting the Most from Your Green- A Case Study for Using Public Money Effectively for Large-Scale Renewable Energy in California(1.2 MB)

Roadmap to a Low Carbon Electricity System in the U.S. and Europe

June, 2014

Electricity systems across the U.S. and Europe face significant challenges in the transition to low-carbon energy. While the transition provides plenty of opportunities for investors, businesses, and consumers alike, the current business and regulatory models of investor owned utilities (IOUs) and independent power producers (IPPs), which have mainly developed around competitive markets for fossil fuel generation, are particularly ill-suited to take advantage of these new opportunities.
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Roadmap to a Low Carbon Electricity System – Executive Summary(154.3 kb)
Roadmap to a Low Carbon Electricity System – Parts 1 and 2(691.8 kb)
Roadmap to a Low Carbon Electricity System – Fact Sheets(105.5 kb)

Raising the Stakes for Energy Efficiency: California’s Risk/Reward Incentive Mechanism

January, 2014

California has long been a leader in energy efficiency policy among U.S. states, and the Risk-Reward Incentive Mechanism (RRIM) represents a large-scale policy experiment that holds lessons for other jurisdictions dealing with energy efficiency policy design, especially those considering shareholder incentives. Our evaluation of the RRIM contributes to the debate on the effectiveness of shareholder incentives, providing insights on how program design choices and institutional dynamics contribute to policy outcomes.
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Raising the Stakes for Energy Efficiency – California's Risk-Reward Incentive Mechanism(1.0 MB)

California Carbon Dashboard

October, 2013

California Carbon Dashboard is a new, beta website that offers an overview of AB32 and California climate policies, including carbon price tracking, news aggregation, and interactive graphics.
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Global Landscape of Climate Finance 2013

October, 2013

The most comprehensive inventory of climate finance to-date, The Global Landscape of Climate Finance 2013, finds that global climate finance flows have plateaued at USD 359 billion, or around USD 1 billion per day – far below even the most conservative estimates of investment needs.
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The Global Landscape of Climate Finance 2013(1.6 MB)

Improving Solar Policy: Lessons from the solar leasing boom in California

July, 2013

Most homeowners in California are no longer purchasing the panels on their rooftops, they are leasing them. Over 75% of California’s new residential solar systems in 2012 were leased as compared to less than 10% in 2007. As policymakers across the country and elsewhere look to spur further growth of solar PV in a constrained budget environment, the California experience — and in particular, the rise of leasing — may hold lessons for improving the effectiveness of solar policy generally.
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Improving Solar Policy – Lessons from the solar leasing boom in California(1.3 MB)

Targeting Proposition 39 to Help California’s Schools Save Energy and Money

May, 2013

California policymakers are considering how to allocate Proposition 39 funds — an estimated $2.75 billion over five years — to support energy efficiency and clean energy projects in K-12 schools and other public buildings. Proposition 39 presents a substantial opportunity to help school districts save energy and money. In order to inform the ongoing discussion, Climate Policy Initiative analyzed existing resources and gaps in financing for energy-saving projects in K-12 school districts.
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Targeting Proposition 39 to Help California’s Schools Save Energy and Money(953.4 kb)

The Policy Climate

April, 2013

In The Policy Climate, we offer an overview of policy issues relevant to climate change across the world. We find that the implementation of policy relevant to climate change, and its impact, accelerated markedly over the last decade, despite the slow pace of international climate negotiations.
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The Policy Climate(5.2 MB)

Buildings Energy Efficiency in China, Germany, and the United States

April, 2013

This report compares energy efficiency policy in buildings in China, Germany, and the United States, providing the context for, and describing, policies in these three countries in order to lay the groundwork for future review of policy effectiveness.
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Buildings Energy Efficiency in China, Germany, and the United States(1.0 MB)

The Challenge of Institutional Investment in Renewable Energy

March, 2013

Institutional investors, which together manage assets of over $70 trillion, often have investment objectives that are aligned with the investment profile of infrastructure. At first glance, access to this large pool of capital and the alignment of objectives should help lower the costs of financing renewable energy. In this study, CPI finds that while these investors could supply a significant share of the total required investment, various factors limit the extent to which they can invest in a way that could lower the cost of financing renewable energy. Furthermore, financial regulation of institutional investors, regulation of energy markets, and renewable energy policy, often create additional obstacles to renewable energy investment.
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The Challenge of Institutional Investment in Renewable Energy(2.0 MB)
The Challenge of Institutional Investment in Renewable Energy – Executive Summary(874.5 kb)
The Challenge of Institutional Investment in Renewable Energy – Factsheet(469.4 kb)

Clearing the Air: Carbon Pricing and Local Air Pollution in California

September, 2012

This report examines how industrial facilities respond to cap and trade, and shows that the most likely responses will reduce air pollution as well as greenhouse gas emissions. This is supported by evidence that Europe’s cap and trade system has reduced local air pollution from oil refineries and other industrial facilities.
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Clearing the Air: Carbon Pricing and Local Air Pollution in California(549.5 kb)

Supporting Renewables While Saving Taxpayers Money

September, 2012

Renewable energy deployment in the United States is booming. Though this growth was financed largely through private investment, state and federal policies have played a key role. This report shows the federal government could sustain support for wind and solar at much lower cost to taxpayers by replacing current tax credits with cash incentives.
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Supporting Renewables while Saving Taxpayers Money(842.4 kb)

Limiting the Cost of Renewables – Lessons for California

June, 2012

To support CPUC in the development of a cost limitation for California’s RPS, Climate Policy Initiative reviewed experience in a number of states with costs limits in renewable energy policies. Our qualitative analysis reveals several general lessons about cost limits and their role in renewable energy policy, and points to recom­mendations for California.
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Limiting the Cost of Renewables-Lessons for California(564.2 kb)

Energy, the U.S. Budget, and Climate Change

March, 2012

This paper puts these programs in the broader context of energy-related activities in the federal budget and provides a starting point for further discussion and analysis of the federal government’s role in energy and climate change. We outline the landscape of federal spending and revenue collection activities that substantially influence energy supply or use in 2010, organized by the type of policy tool or mechanism supported.
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Energy US Budget and Climate Change(588.5 kb)

The Impacts of Policy on the Financing of Renewable Projects: A Case Study Analysis

October, 2011

CPI studied six large-scale renewable electricity generation projects in the United States and Europe to evaluate how policy affects project economics, as well as the cost and availability of financing.
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Policy Impacts on Financing of Renewables(752.0 kb)

Codes to Cleaner Buildings: Effectiveness of U.S. Building Energy Codes

September, 2011

In this paper, Climate Policy Initiative San Francisco assesses the impact of state energy codes using residential energy use data at the state level. By conducting a regression analysis comparing states with building energy codes to those without, CPI SF measures the realized energy savings of energy codes and compares them to existing estimates based on building simulation models.
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Codes to Cleaner Buildings, Effectiveness of US Building Energy Codes(1.2 MB)

Renewable Energy Financing and Climate Policy Effectiveness

July, 2011

CPI's Renewable Energy Finance project assesses the impact of policy on the availability and mix of investment in renewable energy.
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Renewable Energy Financing and Climate Policy Effectiveness Working Paper(241.7 kb)

An Assessment of the Impact of Policy on the Financing of Clean Energy: Project Overview

May, 2011

CPI's assessment of the impact of policy on the financing of clean energy aims to investigate the effectiveness of policy in promoting efficient investment.
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Impact of Policy on Financing Clean Energy(87.2 kb)

The Role of Government Policy in the Development of Solar Photovoltaic Power: Project Overview

May, 2011

CPI's focus in this project has been on the effectiveness of policy in helping PV reach its technical potential. In this project overview, we address several of the major questions that policymakers face in their effort to make PV more cost competitive.
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Role of Government in PV Power Development(185.8 kb)