Climate Policy Initiative Press Release
New York, 25 April, 2017 – Today at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) Future of Energy Summit hundreds of leaders in clean energy and finance voted for two Fire Awards winners from amongst four finalists that presented their businesses in an extremely close pitch competition. The two winners are:
• Electric Bus Battery Service Agreements: A new lease financing model to lower the up-front costs of Proterra’s award winning electric buses, making them price-competitive with fossil fuel-powered buses from day one. Presented by Alan Westenskow, Proterra.
• Global Fleet of Modular Moveable Megawatt-Scale Solar Assets: A new asset facility to back a global fleet of moveable, megawatt-scale solar farms and aims to deploy 10 MW of solar power in the first year. Presented by Dr. Will Rayward-Smith, SunSHIFT.
These two initiatives, along with the other two finalists, Online Financing of Clean Energy Platforms, presented by Wayne Van Dyck from Repower Capital, and Solar Agro-Processing Power Stations, presented by Stewart Craine from Village Infrastructure Angels, were selected by panel of expert advisors out of a record number of 125 highly competitive submissions for their potential to spur commercial investment in clean energy.
The commitments to climate action made at the Paris Agreement conference in 2015, by governments, cities, and businesses around the world, mark a new era of economic growth seated in clean energy and sustainable practices. However, to achieve these commitments and a corresponding transition to a 2-degree pathway, trillions of dollars of investment will need to be mobilized – and quickly, with a major portion coming from private sector sources. The Fire Awards, presented by the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, focus on accelerating powerful, early-stage pilots and businesses that can help unlock this critical investment.
As winners of the Fire Awards, Proterra and SunSHIFT will receive support to scale from Climate Policy Initiative, Secretariat of the Fire Awards, as well as from the high-level energy and finance experts within the network of the Global Lab to grow their impact.
“All of the four Fire finalists have business models with significant potential to attract more investment into clean energy and sustainable transit, particularly from the private sector. They have thought through the needs of local community and cities, where critical changes are needed in the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. Any of them would be worthy winners. These are exactly the sort of ideas Fire was designed to identify and accelerate.” – Michael Liebreich, Founder of BNEF and Chairman of the Fire Awards Advisory Board.
Indeed, previous winners of the Fire Awards have achieved significant impact. After winning the Fire Awards in 2016, Affordable Green Homes, an initiative led by International Housing Solutions, has closed on a second fund to increase the number energy efficient homes it is delivering in South Africa through replication of its blended fund model. Another 2016 Fire Award winner, Investor Confidence Project, a project of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) that aims to accelerate a global asset class for energy efficiency investment in buildings by standardizing projects, recently released a key program element – the Building Button – which allows ICP developed projects to store on-going performance data.
“This year’s Fire Awards winners have clearly demonstrated their potential to drive more finance to tackle the climate challenge. As they join the class of instruments supported by the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, we look forward to helping them scale to catalyze the critical investment needed to reach a pathway to 2 degrees.” – Dr. Barbara Buchner, Executive Director of Climate Policy Initiative, and Secretariat for the Fire Awards and Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance
The Fire Awards are presented by the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance. Lab Members, as well as the Fire Advisory Board, select and support initiatives that are already “on fire” and proving their potential to unlock finance for clean energy and green growth. Climate Policy Initiative serves as Secretariat for the Fire Awards with funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, and in-kind support from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).