Renewables, Policy and the Cost of Capital

Client Organization: 
United Nations Environment Program, Sustainable Energy Finance Initiative
Project Location : 
Basel, Switzerland
Skills/Expertise Needed: 

Public policy has played a critical role in creating and shaping global renewable energy markets. Yet 30 years since the passage of the first federal program in the U.S., under the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), renewable power generation still constitutes a small fraction of the aggregate U.S. portfolio. In spite of strong growth in project development, many risks and challenges remain, raising the price of capital in the sector and limiting acceptance of new power generation technologies. To promote further development, capital markets must become more efficient, providing cheaper capital to the most successful technologies. Public policy has a role to play in this market evolution. The project team, in cooperation with the UNEP Sustainable Energy Finance Initiative (SEFI) and the Basal Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE), conducted a series of stakeholder interviews and related secondary research in order to understand how renewable energy policy environments influence the cost and overall availability of private financing for renewable power projects. By distilling the perspectives of capital providers and others familiar with the project financing process, we aim to deliver insight to policy-makers on lowering the cost of capital needed to finance new renewable power projects.

SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Tom Lyon
Master Students Involved in Project: 

Michael Baratoff, MBA/MS Resource Policy & Behavior

Ian Black, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems

Bodhi Burgess, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems

Justin Felt, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems

Matthew Garratt, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems

Chris Guenther, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems

Project Status: 
Past Project