FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 14, 2021
2 Independent Reports Point to the Economic Recovery, Job Creation & Deep Decarbonization Potential of Clean Energy Accelerator
WASHINGTON—Two independent reports released today by the Analysis Group and The Brattle Group found that a national Clean Energy Accelerator would have an outsized impact helping the United States recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and also speed up the country’s deep decarbonization and Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) efforts.
The report by experts at the Analysis Group focuses on the near-term economic and ESG benefits created by the Accelerator’s investments in deploying clean energy technologies and sustainable infrastructure. The report by experts at The Brattle Group looks at the long-term decarbonization impact of the Accelerator.
“The Accelerator fits the economic-stimulus profile of being targeted, timely, temporary, and transformative, while also being opportunistic, simple, and strategically focused on the prize,” Analysis Group authors Susan Tierney and Paul Hibbard wrote.
“The Accelerator is expected to be a powerful mechanism for gaining several kinds of complementary benefits, in economic recovery, decarbonization, social justice, and market enhancement,” Brattle Group authors Frank Graves, Bob Mudge, Roger Lueken and Tess Counts. “We have much in the way of highly effective clean energy technologies today, but we need to deploy them more quickly to obtain the near-term and long-term benefits of accelerated decarbonization.”
Both reports evaluate specific projects and barriers to private investment in clean energy technologies and sustainable infrastructure that will be addressed by the Accelerator. The Brattle Group’s paper identifies specific barriers to private investment that halt the rapid and widespread adoption of clean energy technologies and sustainable infrastructure, as well as tools the Accelerator will use to overcome those barriers.
Key points from the report:
- The Accelerator would have a timely impact and would get money rapidly into the economy by supporting private investment in commercially ready clean energy technologies and sustainable infrastructure.
- With interest rates currently so low, the federal government can afford to support an aggressive infusion of economic recovery resources into clean energy technologies and sustainable infrastructure.
- The Accelerator would provide near-term employment and economic stimulus, as well as an equitable transition to a low-carbon economy.
- The Accelerator is uniquely able to “invest federal dollars to stimulate the economy while also addressing racial injustice, public health, and the climate crisis.”
- The urgency of decarbonizing requires the deployment of commercially ready or near commercially ready technologies and sustainable infrastructure not solely support for R&D on innovative clean energy technologies.
- Many clean energy technologies and sustainable infrastructure that are commercially ready for deployment that have a positive expected net present value but are not always being actively deployed and/or are well below the pace and level of adoption that is needed for material decarbonization and ESG efforts.
The reports lay out examples of how the Accelerator would achieve economic recovery, job creation and decarbonization and ESG goals, including: retrofitting and modernizing homes and communities where low and moderate income households live; funding “smart surface” infrastructure deployments to reduce urban heat islands, lower energy bills, mitigate heat-related public health impacts, and reduce emissions of GHGs and other pollutants that create adverse public health impacts; and financing the electrification of municipal bus fleets.
At the federal level, the U.S. twice passed funding for a Clean Energy Accelerator that would help achieve the decarbonization and ESG goals discussed above while also helping to create and fund state and local green banks like the one outlined in today’s reports. President-elect Joe Biden included the Accelerator in his climate plan and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris backed the Senate effort.
Green banks currently exist in over 14 cities and states across the country and have supported nearly $4 billion in investment in clean energy projects in their states and local communities, and much of this investment has been targeted toward low- and moderate-income households and communities. View a list of projects that have been supported by already existing state and local green banks.