Renewable Energy Industry Finding New Financing Sources

Financing renewable energy programs is getting harder as government budgets face deficits, and as austerity becomes the new watchword.

Many lawmakers are casting critical eyes toward such programs and some, as Christian Wolan of Forbes writes, want to do away with loan guarantees that pioneers in the upstart green-energy field say are crucial to securing sure footing.

But all is not lost. Not by a long shot, if this item that appeared in Marketplace is true. Corporate America is taking a lead on green energy, declaring it makes sense economically and socially.

The industry, as it gains heft and advances technologically, is lowering costs at the same time utility rates are climbing. As a result, more financing methods are being developed. Conventional banks are more willing to make loans, and businesses have more options - such as purchasing the power from systems they don't own. In addition, young startups are turning to established better-capitalized companies for help, as this story states.

"Innovation in financing and new financing models can have as much impact as any technological breakthrough. It becomes very attractive to business investors," says energy analyst Sam Jaffe in the Marketplace article.

This is an industry in its infancy. Venture capital has climbed, according to this article, but can be risky, as this blogger notes.

Missteps will occur and progress will be uneven, but renewable energy could be a game changer in places such as the resource-rich San Joaquin Valley, where the sun shines brightly, power bills take big bites out of local budgets and out-of-production farmland beckon an entirely new industry.